Spitzer said the study was the deepest regret of his professional career, and he apologized to any gay or lesbian individuals he’d hurt.
Michael Bussee, one of the co-founders of Exodus International, also apologized.
In middle school, Curtis Galloway was a little heavy, he was in the gifted art class, he had odd hobbies (he’d started a ghost-hunting club), and he was in band.
Then it got even better: The other guys in his class started talking about girls.
Hypnosis, a great deal of whiskey, and visits to a brothel.
Psychologists were offering “conversion therapy” (also used for people struggling with gender identity) or the “reparative therapy” developed by Joseph Nicolosi, who blamed male homosexuality on a psychological injury sustained in childhood at the hands of the father.They held hands for six months; it was all he wanted to do. Then he took a deep, shaky breath and came out to two friends he’d met—which itself seemed a miracle, in tiny Benton, Illinois—who were openly gay.He’d denied it for so long, they thought he was kidding.Rugged sports, a strenuous avoidance of opera, and the imitation of “heterosexual” ways of walking and speaking. Robert Spitzer persuaded the American Psychiatric Association to stop automatically classifying homosexuality as a pathology.But almost 30 years later, in 2001, he made headlines with a research study in which 200 people reported successfully changing their orientations.When he came home, he noticed that she seemed a little bit off; she wasn’t greeting him with her usual warmth, and the air around her was charged with tension. Sick with anxiety, trapped between his internal world and the one around him, he begged to see a counselor.“Have you been talking to people you don’t know online? They looked carefully for one who would not discount their Christian faith—and who would help them, too, as they struggled to understand.“Oh yeah, she’s hot,” he’d echo, without the same…gusto. ” they taunted, and every time he slammed back, “No, I’m not!When he reached high school, the bullying eased, and he dutifully found his first girlfriend. ” But he’d started feeling that tingly, magnetic pull, that extra charge of energy he’d heard in his friends’ voices. At the end of sophomore year, Galloway broke up with the girlfriend, giving no real explanation.He’d left the organization with another co-founder, Gary Cooper, and they’d divorced their wives to be together.“In the almost 40 years since I started Exodus International,” Bussee wrote recently for #Born Perfect, “I can honestly say that I have never met a gay person who became heterosexual through conversion therapy or ex-gay programs.” The counselor was in another town, and Galloway and his parents made the long, strained drive in their minivan. Galloway sat in the waiting room, surrounded by Christian pamphlets, and tried to breathe evenly.