A PREACHER who led a "conversion therapy" ministry has come out as gay after two decades of telling homosexuals they must be "cured" or go to hell.
McKrae Game, 51, the former leader of Hope for Wholeness, came out in June – just two years after he was fired from the faith-based ministry.
Dad-of-two Game, who used to lead the the faith-based conversion therapy group in South Carolina, is now coming to terms with the harm he inflicted on LGBTQ people.
His nearly 20-year career consisted of advocating for religious efforts to change a person's sexuality.
He told The Post and Courier: “Conversion therapy is not just a lie, but it’s very harmful. Because it’s false advertising.”
The revelation came two years after Game was abruptly fired from Hope for Wholeness.
In the interview, the 51-year-old called for the dissolution of conversion therapy groups.
The widely discredited practice, which is intended to suppress or change a person’s sexuality through counselling or religion, is currently banned in 18 states.
I was a religious zealot that hurt people. People said they attempted suicide over me and the things I said to them
Many national health and medical associations have dismissed the practice as ineffective and damaging to the health of LGBTQ youth.
In 1973, the American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from a list of mental illnesses.
Game said he is trying to come to terms with the harm he inflicted through his program.
He said: “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?”
LIVING A LIE
Ex-PM Theresa May last year vowed to ban the “abhorrent” practice of trying to turn gay people straight under an action plan to improve the lives of LGBT people.
The world’s largest LGBT Government survey ever carried out showed more than 2,000 people had undergone “therapy” with at least 5,400 being offered it out of more than 108,000 respondents.
The £4.5 million initiative declared: “We will consider all legislative and non-legislative options to prohibit promoting, offering or conducting conversion therapy.”
Researchers found the LGBT community are experiencing prejudice on a daily basis.
Game is still married to a woman, Julie Game, who he says knows he is gay, reported New York Post.
After coming out, he said he readied himself for intense backlash.
He still receives angry Facebook messages from people who say they were traumatised by his program.
'PLEASE FORGIVE ME'
In a Facebook post last week, he wrote a lengthy apology, saying: “I WAS WRONG! Please forgive me!
"I certainly regret where I caused harm. I know that creating the organisation that still lives was in a large way causing harm.
"Creating a catchy slogan that put out a very misleading idea of 'Freedom from homosexuality through Jesus Christ' was definitely harmful.
"Promoting the triadic model that blamed parents and conversion or prayer therapy, that made many people believe that their orientation was wrong, bad, sinful, evil, and worse that they could change was absolutely harmful.
I WAS WRONG! Please forgive me! I certainly regret where I caused harm
"People reported to attempt suicide because of me and these teachings and ideals.
"I told people they were going to Hell if they didn’t stop, and these were professing Christians! This was probably my worse wrongful act."
Game said he knows he will likely be apologising for the rest of his life.
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Earlier this year, another "gay conversion therapist" who came out as gay was accused of making money from a "sham" by Piers Morgan.
David Matheson, the creator of "ex-gay" gender programs, appeared on Good Morning Britain today to discuss coming out after running a gender conversion therapy business and was quizzed about how he made his money.
The Mormon therapist from Utah, USA, came out as gay in January at the age of 57 and has apologised for his religion's homophobia.
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