Randy: You’ve spoken out about your experience with “ex-gay therapy” – can you tell us about it?
Justin: I can tell you that it doesn’t work. After coming back from my Mormon mission, I went to my bishop and told him I was having these feelings that I might be gay. So they sent me to a facility run by the church which is like the church’s “therapy/counseling” type thing. It’s all bound by church social science, so they can’t really explore outside the realm of that. So he sent me there to ask for a specialist in “same gender attraction disorder” – because homosexuality means that you’re sexual and they didn’t want you to be sexual so you have an affliction, it’s like a disease. So I went to this one on one therapist for two years and then group therapy for the same amount of time. It was kind of like AA where everyone sits in a circle and talks, but with “ex-gay therapy” everyone is still gay the next week. At first it was liberating because I had met people who were in the same boat because I had spent 20-something years thinking I was the only one who was having these ‘issues’. But then, like, a year into it I was like “so when do things change?”
In the end, the therapist had me convinced I had been molested as a child. So before I even came out to my family I had told my parents I had been molested as a child. The one who called it out was my mom. And she was like, there was never a day when you ‘came home from piano lessons an hour late.’ The way your conscious works, I would have known if something had happened. So this whole idea of whatever you’re going through, this repressed memory that never happened needs to stop and you need to deal with your bullshit. So I decided to stop the ex-gay therapy, and I decided to start dating someone.