David Matheson, a.k.a. “the Intellectual Godfather of Conversion Therapy”, spent 20+ years and made thousands and thousands (and thousands) of dollars trying to steer gay people into repressing their true feelings. That is until last month when he announced he’s giving all that up to “pursue life as a gay man.”
Now, in a new interview with Channel 4 News, 57-year-old Matheson says flat out that gay conversion therapy has “a great potential for harming people” and “should be stopped.”
“I repudiate the idea that therapy can and should be used to change a person’s sexual orientation because it just can’t,” he says.
“I think back on things I created and I want to crawl into myself, because I there’s a sense of, oh my gosh, I used to think that was a good idea.”
Related: Conversion therapist rebrands himself as a gay muscle daddy, says M4M sex is “a non-negotiable need”
Matheson, who was married to a woman for over 30 years, first began offering counseling to men with “unwanted homosexuality” after receiving his Masters of Science degree in Counseling and Guidance from Brigham Young University in 1996.
In 2004, he opened a full-time gay conversion clinic in New Jersey, where he charged $240 for a 90-minute session. And in 2013, he self-published the book Becoming a Whole Man, a guide for dealing with “unwanted homosexuality.”
“It is horrifying to think that I was part of a system that held people like me down and I’ve had some conversations with other people who have been harmed by it,” he says. “It creates a lot of sorrow.”
Related: Former leader of ex-gay conversion therapy group admits it’s harmful and doesn’t work
Asked whether he regrets what he did, Matheson says, “I do regret my part in propagating that view because I was in a sense kind of an agent of a repressive culture and that makes me really uncomfortable.”
As it should.
He is full of chit. But if one believes that sexuality is fluid then wouldn’t that make conversion therapy possible?
The fluidity stuff complicates every conversation. There are people (a decent amount of people in fact) who do experience genuine major shifts in their orientation over time. Unfortunately, a fraction of those people do attempt to use those shifts and the “fluid movement” as a way to disprove intrinsic orientation and to push homophobic/anti-gay agendas. A lot of homosexual guys are hiding behind this fluidity stuff due to homophobia, internalized homophobia and because they see “gay” as emasculating, limiting and meaning that are incapable of fvcking girls and are scare of female body parts. Sometimes they don’t want to disappoint their families. While a lot of famous/semi-famous guys keep their distance from “gay” because of their careers and to appeal to as many as possible. (And it’s very important if you’re a guy whose appeal has a lot with their looks to constantly appease and please females. Gay dudes will lust after you no matter what. In fact, not saying you’re gay probably means more guys will lust after you).
Many non homosexual and non heterosexual people only truly consider themselves “gay” or “straight” because of their overall and sustained romantic, sexual, affection, relationship passions, interests and contentment. Some of those people are scared to talk about their dimensions or fluidity because they worry about people no longer looking at them as “gay” or “straight”. While some inherently homosexual or heterosexual people don’t really see themselves as gay or straight at all.
Ultimately, if you feel you need to do something as drastic as going to conversion therapy in order to “change” chances are that you won’t and that you’ll always want to be with someone of your gender. It all a very complicated discussion that almost no one with a decent platform is really willing to hash out from every angle for fear of offending people or because they lack the knowledge.
No. It’s not like fluidity turns a person from gay to straight. It’s more like a gay guy might hook up with a women once or twice but is still basically gay. It’s not really even bisexual because the attraction to women is almost non-existent.
Anyway, this guy is a douche. It’s great and all that he’s now gay but he made a lot of money off of torturing people. What he needs to do is invest that money into the LGBT community, perhaps many of the LGBT shelters found in larger cities. Just saying “I’m sorry, man, I messed up” doesn’t cut it.
Sending my thoughts and prayers that he recovers from such a horrific experience of repressing and subjecting others to his hypocrisy. o_O
Ok, I forgive you, big daddy, now get over here and put your dick in my mouth!
Djmcgamester, “fluidity” doesn’t just mean a gay guy who doesn’t mind hooking up with girls. Or a straight guy who doesn’t mind male sexual interaction. If someone is using “fluidity” in that fashion then they’re using it wrong. It means experiencing genuine shifts, add-ons, subtractions in your attractions, arousals, passions, desires and/or sexual enjoyment. I was inherently homosexual and slowly became inherently pan-sexual. There are many people who say they were hetero and became bi, were bi and became hetero, were bi and became homo, were homo and became a-sexual, etc. I still consider myself “gay” mainly because I don’t see “gay” as meaning homosexual. I connect “gay” to sustained same-sex leaning passions, romantic affections, romantic fulfillment, emotional contentment, relationship contentment more than I do sexual behaviors or attractions. And despite shifts in my orientation and somewhat in my lifestyle those those things haven’t changed much at all. So, I still feel mostly tied to “gay”. But yes, actual real change in your orientation has legitimacy. Though I don’t think being absolutely, fully 100% homosexual or heterosexual and eventually ending up on the complete opposite end of the spectrum is very likely at all.
Hey, iamru2, sweetie, can ya just sit your stupid dumb ass down? Thanks hon.
Sincerely, the rest of us.
Btw there is a reply button below each post to reply to someone hence the tag REPLY! Mmmkay sweetie!
+cynicalsteve Yo, asswipe, can ya just shut the f*ck up trying to speak for the rest of us who happen to have cognitive function? iamru2 asked an interesting question which was answered with an interesting answer. We know your limited brain cells can’t entertain complexity….
@iamru2 – not when you’re on the mobile app hon. Just troll away you tired queen.
@jsmu – he’s just a troll masquerading as a human being. You’ll see…
He should use those profits and do something like put it into LGBT centers or something. Until then he’s just full of BS.
Amen, Chrisk. I think he’s full of shite regardless, really.
I agree! He has a lot more to do than “I was wrong” statements as he now “pursues life as a gay man.” I’d like to know what he is doing to counter other conversion therapy still existing!
Here we go again. We want people to change their outdated beliefs, we have a guy who does exactly that, and seems to me to be sincere and remorseful about his past actions, and instead of being happy that there is one less gay conversion believer in the world, we still condemn him and say he’s full of shit. Why is nothing ever enough for so many people?
Good point, and generally I agree with you that it’s ridiculous that we demand both sincere apologies AND complete and utter personal destruction of anyone who does or says anything out of line. Here, though, ‘“I do regret my part in propagating that view because I was in a sense kind of an agent of a repressive culture and that makes me really uncomfortable”’ is kind of a tortured and roundabout way of getting to a clear statement of recognizing the horrors he’s responsible for and that he’s really sorry for anything other than the fact that disclosing that you’re a former gay conversion practitioner makes it really hard to get second dates, muscle daddy or not. I guess I just don’t find him so much convincingly contrite as wallowing a bit in self-pity.
He doesn’t owe me an apology. I don’t even care about apologies. I care about sincerity and people confronting their truths and their regrets, no matter how uncomfortable. Nonetheless, he definitely comes off a bit “yeah, that was really bad what I did for those decades. But now I want to find me a boyfriend. So, all is forgiven, right?”
Because when one causes a LOT of harm, then, in the interest of justice and reparation, it is fair to ask how one ameliorates the harm they caused. And this guy has not done that work. Just saying “oops” is not enough. Remorse is a first step but he has a lot of damage to repair. He can start by canceling his gym membership giving that money to LGBT groups that fight against conversion therapy!
+Brian BUUUUUULLLLLLLshite. As the posters below remarked in schooling you totally, a) he’s wallowing in self-pity b) it’s yet another screwed non-apology ‘apology’ c)now the butthole wants a BF so he’s all sorry-not-really-sorry d) how about donating every cent of his ill-gotten gains to a good LGBT cause, or at least working for one now? e) You probably think Ralph Northam shouldn’t resign either, don’t you? LMAO!
I didn’t say he’s full of BS. I said he needs to make amends for the harms done. As at least one other person here has said, he can invest that money into LGBT youth who are struggling because their parents couldn’t accept them and threw them out.
All you guys are doing is proving my point. Because he didn’t say things exactly the way you think he should have, you’re completely dismissing him. For me, he acknowledged what he did, he acknowledged the harm that he knows it caused, and he finally admitted that he’s gay. That’s good enough for me, he’s heading in the right direction. Plus, I have zero plans to keep up with his life to see if he’s properly making amends. Save your outrage for someone who is still doing harm to the community, not somebody who has stopped.
I hear you, but this guy is really not remorseful. Did you hear an apology somewhere? I didn’t. Did you hear how he is doing some sort of useful Penance to atone? I didn’t.
Well, this is his third go at this. When the news first broke, he wasn’t even a little bit remorseful. He said conversion therapy works for some people and wasn’t at all contrite. Then he got a shitstorm of feedback and now suddenly he’s remorseful and contrite.
He should spend the rest of his life loudly and publicly denouncing conversion therapy. He’s gay. Always was. Always will be. GAY!!!
Isn’t that what he’s doing now?
+Brian Yo, stupid. One lousy non-apology in one interview is hardly spending the rest of his life denouncing his past atrocities.
Yo, stupid. The rest of his life hasn’t actually happened yet.
Even if some people change their orientation, especially comparing the teen period of experimentation with their adulthood, and even of some people are truly bisexual (tending to be more on one side or another), all these inclinations happen NATURALLY, SPONTANEOUSLY. The problem with conversion therapy is that it is something FORCED, COERCED. It cannot work. It is proven that it does not work. And it never will.
Boom Boom Boom another one bites the dust.
MAKE AMENDS! Now spend as many years HELPING people as you did cheating people. Spend as many dollars giving to gay-positive causes as you made hurting people.
Let’s see how serious he is.
A decision as to whether or not he means it is suspended until that part of it is done.
yes! Exactly that! Bravo!
Hey Man : NO one likes your shady ass. Go get bent,bitch !!!
Thank you for your apology, now what are you doing to make amends??? Your actions will speak louder than your words.
We are absolutely born who we are and we are all different. If we follow the advice – “Know thyself. To thine self be true.” OR Know who you are and be that person, then we do not live our lives as a lie. I remember when I was born, which my mother verified, and I have always been attracted to guys. My lifetime partner of 57 years, married almost 15 years, are both retired and living the American Dream.
So… what’s his scam now? What is he doing to get thousands and thousands (and thousands) of dollars from people? It seems (in my opinion) his work was about money and never about “curing” homosexuality which never needed a “cure” in the first place.
“muscle daddy”… why compliment this MONSTER?
I think he loses the right to be called Muscle “Daddy.” Daddy’s don’t tell younger gay men they can chose their sexual orientation. Muscle “Dickhead” is better.
married 30 years, sounds like many a married ‘str8’ man, that lived the life expected by a conservative community. Then fast forward to a time he’s no longer required to pay any support for children etc, hey guess what I was always a gay, just ‘forced’ to live in a str8 life. Not a support of these guys that create problems in later life for the woman they marry and potentially the issues it creates for bad press for the gay community.
I feel like there’s a question not being asked about some of the “methods” he discusses having used.
Yes, he says he’s ashamed and embarrassed about some of the things mentioned (lots of nudity, required holding of other men, etc.). He says he doesn’t know how this stuff came from his mind and that the methods didn’t work. However, are we supposed to assume that all this time those methods were him “trying his best to help”? Yes misguided, yes embarassing in hindsight… but the intention was good?
I am skeptical… to me I think this was a man of power using that power to manipulate young men into acts that he was sexually aroused by. Is this not only wrong for the whole “conversion” element… but also wrong for the fact that his “good intentions” were really predatory behavior?
Yeah. No. I fought myself for years, but I somehow did not turn to torturing innocent people and driving teens to suicide. This F*cking incredibly awful human being gets no pass or redemption. I am atheist, but I REALLY hope there is Hell.
He’d probably go home and squeeze one out to the stories he was being told. What a [email protected] creep. How horrible it must be for those who he tortured psychologically to know his old @ss is living his best life watching rupaul’s drag race on Thursdays with his man. Sad lol.
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