New York, Jan 26 A prominent American "conversion therapy" advocate has come out as gay after spending decades entrenched in homophobia, the media reported.
David Matheson was a practitioner of the practice also known as "ex-gay therapy" or reparative therapy", which promotes the false idea that being gay is something that should, and can, be "cured", the Guardian reported.
These therapies have been denounced by major medical bodies including the American Medical Association, American Psychological Association and the UK's National Health Service.
Matheson said he knew his work had helped some people, but was certain that he had hurt some others too.
"Not that I would excuse myself, but any shortcomings I had as a therapist came from too narrow a view of what 'emotionally healthy' can look like." Matheson said on Facebook on Friday.
"They came from my own homophobia and narrow-mindedness. I am truly sorry for those flaws and the harm they have surely caused some people. And I'm sorry for the confusion and pain my choice may be causing others."
Matheson affirmed his sexuality this week after the LGBT advocacy group Truth Wins Out reported on a leaked private conversation between Matheson and another "conversion therapy" advocate, Rich Wyler.
After the private conversation was made public, Matheson wrote a Facebook post saying he was gay and has divorced his wife of 34 years, in part because he felt he could no longer ignore his desire for a relationship with a man.
Matheson said that by the time he began studying therapy, he had become consumed by the ideology that being gay is a sin and chose to "remain in the closet".