Gay Conversion Therapy Founder Comes Out As Gay; Apologizes For 20 Years Of Leading Anti-Gay Program

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Who Is McKrae Game? New Details On Gay Conversion Therapy Leader Who Came Out As Gay
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McKrae Game, 51, founded one of the largest gay conversion therapy programs in the country in 1999. Truth Ministry was based in South Carolina. Its purpose was to suppress or change a person's LGBTQ+ sexuality through counseling, interventions or ministry. In 2013, Game rebranded his program Hope for Wholeness. During his therapy sessions he preached that being gay means you're going to hell. Well, wouldn't you know it, now McKrae has come out as gay and apologized for two decades of shaming and harming homosexuals. Who is McKrae Game?

1. He was fired two years ago

McKrae Game's decision to come out publicly as gay comes just over two years since he was fired from the organization he had dedicated a large part of his life to. During the two decades he worked to convert gay people to straight people, he wrestled with who he really was. In an interview with Post and Courier, he said: “I struggled more so trying to deny [my attraction to men] than being able to accept my attractions and say, ‘I am a gay man.' I was a hot mess for 26 years and I have more peace now than I ever did.”

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2. He was raised Southern Baptist

McKrae was born and raised in Spartanburg, South Carolina. His family is Southern Baptist. He was fascinated with his sister's clothing as a kid and felt isolated from other boys his age. His classmates called him "McGay," due to his feminine nature. He denied to others and to himself that he was attracted to men until he was 18.

3. His first gay relationship

When Game was 18, he had his first intimate relationship with a man. He embraced his sexuality and frequented gay bars and clubs. Not long after, he began to develop debilitating anxiety and mental breakdowns. He told the Post and Courier: “I was having ongoing panic attacks, and I had never experienced that before. Emotionally, I was freaking out. I was crying. I was internally pained. My brain was telling me, ‘You’re going in the wrong direction.' But my body was telling me otherwise.”

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4. He underwent conversion therapy

McKrae's mother introduced him to a counselor that claimed he could convert McKrae from gay to straight. In 1996, he married a woman that he met at church, hoping that would suppress his feelings. He said: “When I started truth ministry, I believed the gay community and the world was lying about homosexuality and this whole subject. I felt like it was this big ruse and there was a lot of deceit. I was trying to tell the truth.” During his marriage, he was not honest with his wife about his sexuality. He was caught watching gay pornography. He had an affair with a man. 

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5. He started his gay conversion program

In 1999, after attending a retreat to try and suppress his feelings for men, McKrae Game started his own program. Over the years he's received death threats and hate mail. “Early in my years, I used to get a lot of death threats … a lot of hate mail on a constant, continuous basis. At the time, I took a level of satisfaction that I was getting all this hate mail, it was kinda proving like I was doing the right thing.” 

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6. His coming out

In 2017, he cut ties with Hope for Wholeness. Game came out publicly as gay in June 2019. He's been struggling to come to terms with the pain he has caused so many people. "I was a religious zealot that hurt people. People said they attempted suicide over me and the things I said to them. People I know are in therapy because of me. Why would I want that to continue? So much of it is trying to change people and fix people. It’s a lie and we have harmed generations of people,” he said. “We’ve done wrong, we need to admit our wrongs, and do what we can do to stop the wrong from continuing to happen.”

7. The statistics

There is no proof that conversion therapy works. Nearly 700,000 LBGTQ+ people in the U.S. have undergone conversion therapy treatments or counseling, according to a 2018 report from UCLA's Williams Institute. 

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Amy Lamare is a Los Angeles based writer and editor covering entertainment, pop culture, beauty, fashion, fitness, technology, and the intersection of technology, business, and philanthropy. You can find her on Instagram and Facebook.