Achieving LGBT Equality Through Litigation, Legislation, Policy, and Public Education

Stop Psychological Abuse: Personal Stories

Survivors of the dangerous practice often called “reparative therapy” and “conversion therapy” share their painful journeys. It’s through their stories that they hope to educate others about the dangers of these practices, and, ultimately, protect others from experiencing the type of pain they have endured.



Mathew Shurka survived the practice as a youth.

NCLR Contributor

Six weeks and I’ll make you straight. Guaranteed.

That’s what a mental health professional told me when I was 16 years old, and trying to understand the feelings I was having for another teenage boy.

Read more.


Survivor Ryan Kendall is now a student at Columbia.

NCLR Contributor

I was at home, deep into studying for my fall-semester class load at Columbia University in New York City, when I got the news that California Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 1172 into law, protecting young lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth from the same type of psychological abuse that I endured at the hands of mental health professionals who tried to change my sexual orientation.

Read more.


James Guay is a therapist and a survivor of the practice.

NCLR Contributor

I have known I was gay since I was a boy growing up in a fundamentalist Christian household, and was increasingly becoming desperate to escape what I was taught was the shame and sin of my sexual orientation.

Back then, a psychotherapist promised my parents and I that he could make me straight. I latched onto his words, envisioning a life in which I could be accepted by all – including my family and friends.


Read more.

NCLR Contributor

I’ve known since I was 13 that I was attracted to men, but I buried these feelings after becoming a born-again Christian at 19. For the many years that followed, I lived a faithful straight life – getting married to a wonderful woman, having two beautiful children, and immersing myself in my church.

Read more.

Are you a survivor? Consider sharing your story and speaking out to protect others.


If you are a survivor of these dangerous practices, consider sharing your story and speaking out to protect others.  Your email to us will be confidential. We will not share your story without your permission.  Even if you do not want to share your story publicly, hearing about your experience can help us learn more and protect others from being harmed by these damaging “therapies.”

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