I was a religious zealot that hurt people. People said they attempted suicide over me and the things I said to them. People, I know, are in therapy because of me. Why would I want that to continue?
— McKrae Game
When irony strikes in life, it can strike while the metal is hot, for the betterment of the rights of the accused, and to the advancement of a culture of critical thinking. Mahita Gajanan in Time described the story of McKrae Game who is a former conversion therapy advocate.
Game founded a South Carolina conversion therapy program. He is its former leader. Former because he came out of the closet; he’s gay. At 51, Game came out two years after being fired by the Hope for Wholeness program, which was founded in 1999. The explicit and sole purpose of the conversion therapy program founded by Game was to rid non-heterosexual people of their sexual orientation identity, which comes with the hidden premise of this as a lifestyle or not something innate to the human being.
This can be all fun and games to popular freethought groups. However, as noted by Game, these institutions, religious orientations, ideological backings, individual biases, and the like, lead to people attempting suicide based on “things… said to them” or enter into “therapy” because of it. People die because of this garbage. That’s why it matters to speak frankly and to act forcefully against it. I’m certain many people reading this are sick of hearing about it, maybe even know individuals in their lives impacted by it.
Game, in an article by the Post and Courier, said, “Conversion therapy is not just a lie, but it’s very harmful… Because it’s false advertising.” In the course of the career for Hope for Wholeness, he talked about sexual attraction to men while struggling with gay pornography. In November, 2017, he was fired. Game argues the pornography was the reason for the firing. He was “devastated” and “humiliated.” Mental health trauma and thoughts of suicide are linked to “attempts at changing a sexual orientation or gender identity.” Approximately 700,000 LGBTQ adults in the United States have received the discredited practice, based on the Williams Institute published in 2018.
The American Medical Association and American Psychological Association discredit conversion therapy; therefore, conversion therapy is not, by definitional status of two legitimate organizations, a therapy, and does not, in fact, convert. Its title does nothing of the former and fails legitimacy tests on the latter.