30% OFF Pride collection code: USAPRIDE! Free Shipping over $99

Man Speaks Openly About The Heartbreak And Horrors Of Conversion Therapy

by Graham Gremore January 26, 2016

maxresdefault

A activist who was forced to endure years of conversion therapy is once again speaking out about his experience.

27-year-old Mathew Shurka was raised in a “conservatively Jewish home” in the suburbs of New York. When he was just 16, he was urged to undergo conversion therapy after his father learned of his same-sex attraction.

“My father was afraid I would live a horrible life as a gay man in society,” he says.

Related: Bizarre And Homophobic Conversion Practices Exposed In Trial Of Ex-Gay Leaders

Shurka spent the next five years participating in both face-to-face and phone counseling, during which he was told there was “no such thing” as being gay and that homosexuality was a “psychological condition” that stemmed from unaddressed childhood trauma.

“It made it sound like a disease,” he says. “It was made to feel like a disease too, that I was suffering from.”

Part of the “cure” included being “banned” from talking to his mother or sisters.

“This was so I didn’t pick up any feminine behavior from girls,” he says. “It was extremely difficult to come home from school and not talk to them. The word uncomfortable doesn’t even describe it.”

Related: A Disturbing Undercover Look At How Conversion Therapy Tries To “Cure” Gayness

Shurka says his mother disagreed with the therapy for the get-go.

“My mother didn’t agree with the therapy at all. She felt like she was losing me,” he recalls. “I’d walk out the door in the morning and not say bye to her. But I was 16 and vulnerable, so listened to the advice of my therapists for a while.”

The bogus therapy continued for five years. It wasn’t until he was 21 that Shurka finally refused to keep participating in it.

“I was 21 and although the therapy taught that there was no such thing as love between two people of the same sex, I had fallen in love with another boy,” he says. “When I said this, I was told I was suffering from obsessive compulsive disorder. I had been doing everything they said, and yet my attraction for men never lessened. So I left conversion therapy and went through two years of recovery and standard therapy.”

Related: The Horrors Inside A Christian Conversion Cult Are Exposed First-Hand

Today, Shurka serves as an ambassador to the #BornPerfect campaign with the National Center for Lesbian Rights. The campaign is working to end conversion therapy in the United States by 2019.

As for his father, Shurka says they have been able to work though their differences.

“I let go of any resentment I had towards him in that conversation,” he says. “I know my father truly loves me, and was only seeking what he thought was best for me. I’ve got my father back in my life, and now I get to share it with him.”

h/t: Daily Mail




Graham Gremore
Graham Gremore

Author


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in Think

And the winners of the 2017 Queerties are…

by David Reddish February 22, 2017

Congrats to all the winners and nominees!

Continue Reading →

Two super hot models rescue seven children from freezing cold pond in NYC

by Graham Gremore February 22, 2017

"I was in this park for a reason tonight," Jonas says. "I could’ve been anywhere right now but I was 100 yards away from kids who are drowning."

Continue Reading →

Italy’s anti-discrimination head embroiled in gay sex club scandal

by John Russell February 22, 2017

Francesco Spano is accused of funneling tens of thousands of euros to three gay sex venues.

Continue Reading →