This morning Kyle and Jackie O spoke to a man who went through a pretty horrible and confronting ordeal in discovering his sexuality. Chris came into the studio to tell the guys his story about dealing with the discovery that he was gay and to help put an end to Gay Conversion Therapy in Australia.
Chris was raised in a Christian family where being Gay was not an option. But it wasn’t just those around him that thought being Gay was wrong. Chris himself thought that he had been possessed by demons.
“From the age of ten, I really thought that I might be demon possessed,” said Chris to Kyle and Jackie O. “You grow up in church and you hear things about gay people and I heard that they were abominations, that they were perverted.”
“I heard that as a ten year old…and what I realised was that they were talking about me,” continued Chris. “I knew at that time that I thought that I might be gay and I thought gosh, I’ve got demons in me!”.
And so after battling through these thoughts alone Chris went to see a Christian counsel when he was 16 and then at 17 he was admitted to Living Waters which was a Gay Conversion Therapy company that has now closed down, and that used various methods to stop a person from being gay.
Chris explained that this therapy ran very similarly to AA meetings. He says that they were forced to study from a textbook that would attempt to give reasons as to why they might be Gay. An example that Chris gave was that if they weren’t breast fed as a child then this may have made them gay.
“It talked about homosexuality as being a broken form of sexuality,” explained Chris.
Apart from studying from this textbook, Chris and others were asked to give confessions of the things that they had done that week that might be considered wrong. He also went through exorcisms to try and rid the homosexuality from his body.
“I really wanted to get rid of this thing,” admitted Chris. “I was desperate.”
But thankfully Chris managed to overcome the thoughts in his head and it was actually his parents that helped him come to terms with his homosexuality and to accept that it wasn’t actually a bad thing.
“My parents are amazing…They watched me go through so much torment and by the end of it I was a mess,” said Chris referencing to his horrible experience with conversion therapy. But it was Chris’ mother that eventually told Chris that he didn’t have to be ashamed about who he was.
“She said to me, ‘your father and I have been praying and researching this for years now’ and she said ‘have you ever thought that God hasn’t healed you because there’s nothing wrong with you?’”, explained Chris.
“My parents came to be okay with it way before I was.”
Chris has now created a petition in order to outlaw gay conversion therapy across Australia. To sign the petition visit change.org/endgaycures.
If you need support after reading this story please call Lifeline on 13 11 14.