A former Mormon 'conversion therapist' has come out as gay for a second time, but still refuses to disavow the ex-gay movement he helped form.
Having once ran a program titled Journey into Manhood, David Matheson claimed to be in a position to help other ex-gay men pursue a heterosexual life.
“My time in a straight marriage and in the ‘ex-gay’ world was genuine and sincere and a rich blessing to me," Matheson reflected in a statement to organisation Truth Wins Out.
"I wasn’t faking it all those years. I’m not renouncing my past work or my LDS faith. And I’m not condemning mixed-orientation marriages. I continue to support the rights of individuals to choose how they will respond to their sexual attractions and identity," he continued.
“With that freedom, I am now choosing to pursue life as a gay man.”
Matheson has previously authored a number of books about converting to heterosexuality, including one titled Becoming a Whole Man, which is pegged as "the result of a six-year quest to understand and respond to the most difficult challenges facing men with unwanted homosexuality.”
While Matheson refused to back-peddle on his past work, previous clients of his were less forgiving.
“While I am pleased for Mr. Matheson that he has found a path forward for his life, I can’t help but think of the hundreds if not thousands of people who are still stuck in the closet, a closet that was created in part by Mr. Matheson himself,” said Chaim Levin, who once attended Matheson’s Journey Into Manhood program.
“I hope that Mr. Matheson will do whatever he can to rectify the harm that he’s inflicted on many people in the LGBTQ community, myself included.”
Matheson has taken to social media, sharing a lengthy status on Facebook.
"I enjoyed a happy and fulfilling marriage with my wife for many years," he wrote.
"Overall, it was a beautiful relationship and being 'straight' became a core part of my identity. But I also experienced attractions to men. Much of the time these were in the background. But sometimes they were very intense and led to pain and struggle in my marriage."
He added: "Still, the marriage truly did work for us both and I don’t regret it."