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Conversion Therapy Founder Comes Out as Gay: "ministry is a lie"

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Char Adams,People Tue, Sep 10 10:13 AM PDT

McKrae Game, the man who founded one of the biggest conversion therapy programs in the country, is opening up about his decision to come out as gay after leading the homophobic organization for 20 years.

Game, 51, appeared on Tuesday’s episode of Tamron Hall, the former NBC journalist’s new self-titled talk show, where Game spoke candidly about his decision to go public with his truth after vehemently preaching that being gay would send someone to hell.

“I snapped out of it,” Game told Hall, 48, during the show. “That’s the phrase I use.”

In 1999, Game started Truth Ministry, a faith-based conversion therapy program in South Carolina that aims to suppress or completely change a person’s LGBTQ+ sexuality through counseling, interventions, or ministry. The program was eventually rebranded and renamed as Hope for Wholeness in 2013. (Game said he was abruptly fired from the organization nearly two years ago over his usage of pornography, but in a statement to PEOPLE, the organization says the “board of HFW walked with McKrae for over a year concerning issues that led to his resignation.”)

“I’m trying to highlight the wrongs in so many of these organizations. I gave 28 years of my life of repressing my homosexuality, not understanding and not knowing really what it’s like to be able to just simply accept who I am,” Game told Hall on Tuesday.

Game described the harmful impact of living in denial.

“I’ve always said I have a chronic anxiety problem,” he said. “That’s gone. I realized I was causing my own mental illness, and that’s what I was doing to other people.”

“I believe repressing your natural orientation causes mental illness,” he added.

Game described himself as a “practicing homosexual” from age 19 to 22. He told Hall that he went to an anti-gay conference that led him to conversion therapy. There, he said, he was not taught that he “would go from gay to straight,” but rather, “It was more of promising me that my attractions would lessen, that they would diminish.”

Game’s admission made headlines earlier this month when he went public with the news in an interview with the Post and Courier. He told the publication that he once believed the LGBTQ+ community was “lying” about sexuality.

Now, I think its the complete opposite. I believe ex-gay ministry is a lie; conversion therapy is not just a lie, it’s very harmful,” he told the publication. “[Especially] when it takes it to the point of, ‘You need to change and here’s a curriculum, here’s how you do it, and you haven’t changed yet, keep at it, it’ll happen.’ “

Nearly 700,000 LGBTQ+ adults in the country have received conversion therapy, and about 350,000 of those received the treatment as adolescents, according to a January 2018 report from UCLA’s Williams Institute. Such efforts to change a person’s gender identity or sexual orientation are associated with poor mental health, according to the Institute.

Studies have shown that conversion therapy only amplifies the stigma and shame the LGBTQ+ community experiences.

LGBTQ+ youth exposed to conversion efforts — whether from their families, therapists, or religious leaders — attempt suicide at more than double the rate of their peers, according to a study from the Family Acceptance Project.

Game, a married father of two, told Hall that he acknowledges the harm he has caused as the former leader of the organization and said he is meeting “with people who are angry,” including former clients.

“I want to point to people that have come out of these programs that are traumatized,” he said during the show.

He noted that he is dedicated to hearing people’s stories of their experiences in conversion therapy.

“That’s what it’s really about,” he said. “It’s not really about me.”

In its statement to PEOPLE, the organization said “HFWN and our affiliated ministries do not endorse or practice ‘conversion’ or ‘reparative’ therapies. Most ministry leaders are not licensed therapists. We disciple individuals who are conflicted about their sexuality in regards to their faith. We utilize faith-based groups and pastoral discipleship to address issues from the individuals’ past and help them reconcile their faith and sexuality. We never use coercion, shaming, nudity, touch therapies with any individual who might come to our affiliate ministries.”

https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/conversion-therapy-founder-opens-coming-171307128.html

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I know this is so last week, but stories like this are why Drew Brees deserves criticism for supporting and promoting Focus on the Family. I don't hate the guy or even really care what he thinks, but there is no doubt that conversion "therapy" helps nobody and harms millions. I'd bet most gay people would say that coming to accept their own sexuality was a large part of their adolescence, most likely a painful one and undoubtedly so if they're from a religious background. Brees' and anyone else's support of this churchy snake oil should be called what it is: an endorsement of of adolescent suicide, depression and anxiety disorders. But Jesus Saves so they must not have prayed hard enough :thumbup:

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9 hours ago, Stuart_Little said:

I know this is so last week, but stories like this are why Drew Brees deserves criticism for supporting and promoting Focus on the Family. I don't hate the guy or even really care what he thinks, but there is no doubt that conversion "therapy" helps nobody and harms millions. I'd bet most gay people would say that coming to accept their own sexuality was a large part of their adolescence, most likely a painful one and undoubtedly so if they're from a religious background. Brees' and anyone else's support of this churchy snake oil should be called what it is: an endorsement of of adolescent suicide, depression and anxiety disorders. But Jesus Saves so they must not have prayed hard enough :thumbup:

Millions?  I would guess much less.

Edited by jon_mx

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6 minutes ago, jon_mx said:

Millions?  I would guess it is closer to hundreds, maybe a few thousand worst case.  

Link

Quote

About 1.4 million adults in the United States identify as transgender, and nearly 700,000 LGBT adults have been exposed to conversion therapy, 350,000 of them as children, according to the Williams Institute

 

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1 hour ago, jon_mx said:

Did Brees even support conversion therapy?  

Essentially, by doing that commercial for FOTF, an organization which promotes conversion therapy. I have yet to see any comments by him that says conversion therapy is wrong. If you have a link that proves otherwise, I would like to see it.

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Brees supports taking bibles to school.  He stated that’s why he did the commercial, he’s not anti-LGBTQ, and he respects and supports all people.  If you interpret that as being pro-conversion therapy you should immediately stop what you are doing and seek professional help.

Edited by jonessed
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16 minutes ago, jonessed said:

Brees supports taking bibles to school.  He stated that’s why he did the commercial, he’s not anti-LGBTQ, and he respects and supports all people.  If you interpret that as being pro-conversion therapy you should immediately stop what you are doing and seek professional help.

Has he ever spoken out against conversion therapy? If so, please provide a link.

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Not exactly sure why this is in the politics forum, but since it is...didn't Michelle Bachmann's family run a conversion therapy clinic or something like that? Not googling that at work.

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I need to see a link to all the Democratic candidates denouncing Communism or I am not buying it. 

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13 minutes ago, jon_mx said:

I need to see a link to all the Democratic candidates denouncing Communism or I am not buying it. 

Did they do ads for communists? I missed that.

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39 minutes ago, VandyMan said:

Not exactly sure why this is in the politics forum, but since it is...didn't Michelle Bachmann's family run a conversion therapy clinic or something like that? Not googling that at work.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/clinic-run-michele-bachmann-s-husband-hit-violations-n738181

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37 minutes ago, whoknew said:

Did they do ads for communists? I missed that.

 Apparently he did too as his analogy makes absolutely no sense.

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2 hours ago, jonessed said:

Brees supports taking bibles to school.

Also a dumb idea

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2 hours ago, squistion said:

Has he ever spoken out against conversion therapy? If so, please provide a link.

Do you have a link that says Colin Kaepernick has spoken out against conversion therapy?  If not, I suppose he supports it as well.   Cool logic here.

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41 minutes ago, whoknew said:

Did they do ads for communists? I missed that.

And brees did not do ads for conversion therapy?  He did an ad for “Bring Your Bible To School Day."  It is the typical guilt by association that leftist constantly invoke but hate it when it is applied to them.  

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1 minute ago, roadkill1292 said:

What does "supports taking bibles to school" mean in reality?

I'm open to another definition but to me it sounds like he supports people taking bibles to schools.  :shrug:

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4 minutes ago, Ramblin Wreck said:

Do you have a link that says Colin Kaepernick has spoken out against conversion therapy?  If not, I suppose he supports it as well.   Cool logic here.

If Kaep, like Brees did a commercial for Focus On The Family, or any organization that advocated conversion therapy you would have a point.

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1 minute ago, jon_mx said:

And brees did not do ads for conversion therapy?  He did an ad for “Bring Your Bible To School Day."  It is the typical guilt by association that leftist constantly invoke but hate it when it is applied to them.  

Perhaps an actual example would help your case.

Like has there been someone doing a commercial for universal healthcare or something that was put out by some communist organization? Are there any communist organizations anymore? I am not even sure what your exact analogy would look like

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1 minute ago, squistion said:

If Kaep, like Brees did a commercial for Focus On The Family, or any organization that advocated conversion therapy you would have a point.

If Brees expressed support for conversion therapy you would have a point.  You don't.  Jon just nailed it a couple posts up.

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And listen - I think bring your bible to school is dumb. But if Brees thinks its cool. Sure - make a commercial for it. I don't think his making that commercial  has anything to do with him agreeing with conversion therapy

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What do Jewish/Muslim/Atheists do on Bring Your Bible to School Day?  It's almost as if the schools are telling kids to choose one religion over all others.  I'd prefer they just stick to teaching kids how not to be gay.

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1 minute ago, Mookie said:

What do Jewish/Muslim/Atheists do on Bring Your Bible to School Day? 

Go to school without a bible.  Bring a different book of their choice.  :shrug:

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9 minutes ago, jon_mx said:

And brees did not do ads for conversion therapy?  He did an ad for “Bring Your Bible To School Day."  It is the typical guilt by association that leftist constantly invoke but hate it when it is applied to them.  

Which is pretty silly itself. 

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7 minutes ago, Ramblin Wreck said:
9 minutes ago, squistion said:

If Kaep, like Brees did a commercial for Focus On The Family, or any organization that advocated conversion therapy you would have a point.

If Brees expressed support for conversion therapy you would have a point.  You don't.  Jon just nailed it a couple posts up.

Only squis could have me agreeing 100% with RW and jon on a topic...so stupid.

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How would conservatives feel if a professional athlete did a commercial for Planned Parenthood?  Even if they just mentioned that PP offers services like birth control, check-ups etc?

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17 minutes ago, the moops said:

Perhaps an actual example would help your case.

Like has there been someone doing a commercial for universal healthcare or something that was put out by some communist organization? Are there any communist organizations anymore? I am not even sure what your exact analogy would look like

The Communist Party of the USA (CPUSA) is thoroughly aligned with the progressive politics of the Democrat Party and especially those of the Socialist Democrats.  They campaign for, volunteer, contribute to many of the more progressive Democratic candidates. 

Link 1 

Link 2 

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1 hour ago, jon_mx said:

I need to see a link to all the Democratic candidates denouncing Communism or I am not buying it. 

Is there a point to this deflection?

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3 minutes ago, sho nuff said:

Is there a point to this deflection?

Bringing in Brees and asking for links was the deflection.  

Edited by jon_mx
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Just now, jon_mx said:

Bringing in Brees was the deflection.  

Not really...as it was a topic of discussion last week with his doing an ad for an organization that supports conversion therapy.  

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44 minutes ago, the moops said:

Also a dumb idea

:shrug:

what if it’s a religious school

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2 minutes ago, HellToupee said:

:shrug:

what if it’s a religious school

Wouldn't they already have bibles?  

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14 minutes ago, sho nuff said:

Is there a point to this deflection?

It's not a deflection. It's pointing out the severe flaw in squis' bar.... his way isn't the way things work... it's dumb and childish

Edited by The Commish

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5 minutes ago, McJose said:

Wouldn't they already have bibles?  

I went 12 years to Parochial schools and never cracked a bible.Never had one. To me it’s weird but to others it might make perfect sense to carry a bible. Different strokes for different folks

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11 minutes ago, HellToupee said:

:shrug:

what if it’s a religious school

If it's a christian school, then probably every day is "bring your bible to school" day. 

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50 minutes ago, Ramblin Wreck said:

I'm open to another definition but to me it sounds like he supports people taking bibles to schools.  :shrug:

That’s how I understand it as well

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3 minutes ago, HellToupee said:

I went 12 years to Parochial schools and never cracked a bible.Never had one. To me it’s weird but to others it might make perfect sense to carry a bible. Different strokes for different folks

Yeah, sure.  OK.

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2 minutes ago, McJose said:

Yeah, sure.  OK.

I dont understand this response . You’re questioning the veracity of my post? Went to Catholic school , never had a bible , never read from one. Parts were covered in text books. I do think taking one to school would be odd but I’m sure there are things I’m into the Bible lovers would find strange 

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3 minutes ago, John Blutarsky said:

So you are being sarcastic and accusing him of lying?

What from that post would I lie about? So bizarre 

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45 minutes ago, McJose said:

How would conservatives feel if a professional athlete did a commercial for Planned Parenthood?  Even if they just mentioned that PP offers services like birth control, check-ups etc?

Probably about the same as they do when a professional actor or musician says something nice about Planned Parenthood.  Which is to say shrug and go on with our lives.

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1 minute ago, HellToupee said:

I dont understand this response . You’re questioning the veracity of my post? Went to Catholic school , never had a bible , never read from one. Parts were covered in text books. I do think taking one to school would be odd but I’m sure there are things I’m into the Bible lovers would find strange 

I don't think we ever read from the bible in high school but I'm pretty sure we did in grade school.  You never having a bible seems odd though.  You were never given one as a First Communion gift or anything like that?

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1 minute ago, IvanKaramazov said:

Probably about the same as they do when a professional actor or musician says something nice about Planned Parenthood.  Which is to say shrug and go on with our lives.

Ok

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