Growing Up Ex-Gay

by Zack Beauchamp

Gabriel Arana pens a deeply moving reflection about his high school dependence on ex-gay guru Joseph Nicolosi and the discredited psychological movement more broadly:

It’s true that while in therapy, I did not feel coerced into believing [Nicolosi's] theories. Like nuclear fallout, the damage came later, when I realized my sexual orientation would not change. I could have told Nicolosi about my thoughts of suicide, my time in the mental institution. I could have told him that my parents still don’t understand me but that I’m grown up now and it has less of a bearing on my life. I could have told him that I married a man. But I realize it wouldn’t be of any use: I’ve changed since I left therapy, but Nicolosi has not. For years I shared my innermost thoughts and feelings with him. Now I want to keep this for myself.