Gay cure survivor explains how conversion therapy drove him to attempt suicide

A teenager who was subjected to gay conversion therapy has spoken out about how he was driven to attempt suicide.

Nathan Dalley, 19, spoke out on Thursday (February 21) as LGBT+ rights group Equality Utah teamed up with lawmakers in the state to seek a ban on the practice.

The teen explained that he came out as gay as school aged 16, and was “very comfortable with just being out and open” — but had a “much less comfortable” experience when he came out at home and at church.

Dalley began to struggle with the response to his sexuality and was sent to a faith-based conversion therapist.

Gay cure survivor: Therapist taught me I was unworthy of God

He recalled: “When we went into the office the therapist asked me, ‘What is your goal from this?’ I said, ‘I’m experiencing depression and I’m gay,’ and he said, ‘Okay, those are things we can fix.'”

The teen explained that the conversion therapy efforts focused on encouraging him to stop being effeminate and to play more sports.

Nathan Dalley spoke out about his experience of conversion therapy

Nathan Dalley spoke out about his experience of conversion therapy. (Equality Utah)

Dalley said: “The therapist told me, ‘Your voice is too effeminate, you don’t have upper body strength, girls aren’t going to like you if you don’t have upper body strength, you’re too skinny.’

“There was a point where I would carry a little rubber band on my wrist, and I’d flick it every time I thought of a man or a boy.”

He added: “Instead of teaching me coping skills to help me learn how to love myself as I am, they went along the approach of teaching me that my sexuality was something that was meant to be erased, and was something that wasn’t worthy to stand before the God I was taught to believe in.”

Conversion therapy survivor: I believed that if I died, I’d be resurrected perfect

Dalley’s attempts to cure himself of same-sex attraction ended in failure and an attempt at suicide.

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