The Hill reports that McKrae Game, the founder of Hope for Wholeness in South Carolina – one of the United States’ largest conversion therapy programs,recently came out as gay. He made the announcement in early June via Facebook, two years after he was fired from Hope for Wholeness.
“I certainly regret where I caused harm,” he wrote in a Facebook post, admitting that his promotion of the triadic model, which blamed parents for their children’s homosexuality, and his role in pushing conversion therapy were “absolutely harmful.”
Game admitted that his role in conversion therapy pushed people to believe that their sexual orientation was “wrong, bad, sinful, evil,” and provided them with the false hope that they could change.
“It’s all in my past, but many, way TOO MANY continue believing that there is something wrong with themselves and wrong with people that choose to live their lives honestly and open as gay, lesbian, trans, etc.Learn to love yourself and others.”
Game claims that conversion therapy is a “lie” and is pushing for the dissolution of its practices as well as ex-gay ministries. He is currently trying to come to terms with the damage he has done to others thanks to the program and claims that he still receives Facebook messages from people angry by the trauma they have experienced at the hands of his program.
“People said they attempted suicide over me and the things I said to them,” he said. “People, I know, are in therapy because of me. Why would I want that to continue?”
According to UCLA’s Williams Institute, approximately 700,000 LGBTQ-identifying adults have experienced some form of conversion therapy as of 2018. The practice is widely discredited, and The New York Post reports that it is banned in 18 states.
Per Metro Weekly, a recent study published in the journal Science suggests that there is no “gay gene,” instead pointing to multiple genes. In terms of environmental factors, the study chose to make no conclusions and avoided conclusive statements about the role of nature and nurture on sexual orientation.
Regardless, right-wing Christians and anti-LGBTQ writers pounced on the findings of the study and used it to make a case for conversion therapy by incorrectly suggesting the study implies that sexuality is a choice.
Benjamin Neale, a geneticist at the Broad Institute of M.I.T. and Harvard and a lead researcher on the study, claims that the influence of social and environmental factors on sexuality does not mean that same-sex behavior is unnatural.
“It’s written into our genes and it’s part of our environment,” he said, adding that it’s a part of the human species and part of “who we are.”