Ex-gay Mormon David Matheson, who spent years claiming gay conversion torture was a reasonable option and wrote a book with a title that suggested gay men weren’t “whole,” has reportedly quit the ex-gay movement and confessed that he now wants to date men.
Matheson was a prominent member in the anti-gay movement and even authored the book “Becoming a Whole Man.”
The New York Times reported on Matheson’s work in 2007:
Mr. Matheson, who holds a master’s in counseling and guidance from Brigham Young University, began full-time practice in New Jersey in 2004 and juggles an active roster of some 50 clients. He charges $240 for a 90-minute session.
Mr. Matheson trained under the psychologist Joseph Nicolosi, president of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, a prominent secular organization in the ex-gay movement.
The emphasis in Mr. Matheson’s counseling is on helping men — all his clients are male — develop “gender wholeness” by addressing emotional issues and building healthy connections with other men. He said he believed that helped reduce homosexual desires.
“The therapy I do really just uses standard, normal therapeutic principles,” he said. “Cognitive therapy and emotion-based therapy, standard therapeutic approaches, with an emphasis on helping them feel more comfortable in their masculinity.”
ABC’s Nightline also interviewed him in 2010:
“For some people ‘gay’ is never going to work. That kind of life and that kind of living is never going to gel — ever — with their value system,” Matheson explained. “For those men, that’s why we exist, so that they can have another way, another approach of dealing with their sexual feelings.”
Wayne Besen at Truth Wins Out reports that private Facebook messages reveal that Matheson is now on the hunt for a male partner.
TWO contacted Matheson on Sunday evening and he provided a statement that was surprisingly unrepentant and failed to apologize for the grave harm he has caused many of his clients.
“My time in a straight marriage and in the “ex-gay” world was genuine and sincere and a rich blessing to me. I remember most of it with fondness and gratitude for the joy and growth it caused in me and many others. But I had stopped growing and was starting to die. So I’ve embarked on a new life-giving path that has already started a whole new growth process. I wasn’t faking it all those years. I’m not renouncing my past work or my LDS faith. And I’m not condemning mixed-orientation marriages. I continue to support the rights of individuals to choose how they will respond to their sexual attractions and identity. With that freedom, I am now choosing to pursue life as a gay man.”