Gay firefighter says boss claimed sex with women would ‘cure’ him – and gave him ‘hand diagrams’

FDNY firefighter Corey Boykins

A gay New York firefighter claims he was told he could be “cured” of his sexuality by a superior.

Corey Boykins alleged that former New York Fire Department (FDNY) department chief, Lt Darius Dorset, suggested that gay men can be “cured” of their sexual identity and proposed that he should try having sex with both men and women.

Boykins claims Dorsett, who also served as chief diversity officer, used “hand diagrams” to explain mixed-gender intercourse.

He has filed a complaint against the city, FDNY and Dorsett alleging anti-gay harassment and hostility, and is seeking damages and an apology.

However, he is determined to remain a firefighter with FDNY.

“I was at my lowest,” Corey Boykins told Spectrum News NY1. “I was kind of just trying to still have respect for the job, because I do love the job. I do love the job. I was trying to navigate how I could stop this without losing my job.”

He said that Dorsett’s comments made him feel that he didn’t “belong in the firehouse”, and that it was impressed upon him that “basically being gay was a choice, having sex is about procreation”.

New York City’s Law Department told NY1: “There is no room for discrimination or retaliation at any agency. The complaint is being carefully reviewed.”

According to reports, Lt Darius Dorsett was reassigned and no longer serves as a diversity officer.

In 2018, former FDNY firefighter Michael Troina sued the department alleging he was subjected to a cruel campaign of harassment during his time there, which included homophobic bullying.

In 2021, three lawsuits were filed against the City of San Francisco for homophobic behaviour towards San Francisco Fire Department employees, including one by Keith Baraka, 53.