But he says his father quickly began to “panic.” He feared that Matthew would be bullied in school, and that being gay would affect his ability to get a job, have a family, or lead a normal life.

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Exodus International, the now defunct ex-gay network, popped up three years later.

Nicolosi’s own National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) was founded a bit later — in 1992.

He claims his therapist prescribed him Viagra — at 18 years old — when he began to have intercourse with members of the opposite sex. Like Brinton — as well as so many other survivors — he considered suicide.

Although there’s no core set of principles practiced by every conversion therapist, what Shurka went through is very common.

The pain Sam experienced made Brinton “terrified” to be physically affectionate with men, even something as small as exchanging a friendly hug.

Over 15 years later, Sam is still “constantly in need of mental health support,” often experiencing thoughts of suicide. Statistics from the Brinton is spearheading an effort to end the discredited practice.The conversion therapist allegedly told Brinton that the government “had come and killed off” all gay people because they “brought AIDS into America.” Sam claims that the therapist also said that homosexuals are an “abomination” in God’s eyes.When that didn’t cure Brinton of his same-sex longings, Sam says that the therapist attempted “physical aversion therapy,” burning or freezing the child’s hands when pictures of men touching other men were displayed.But the real focus is, of course, the meat, with sessions dedicated to knife skills, bolognese prowess, butchering rabbit, sausage-making, and grilling chops.Belcampo CEO Anya Fernald and President Bronwen Hanna-Korpi will lead many of the meaty meetings, and meals will be served family-style. Step right this way, and start brushing up on your friendship-bracelet skills.Sam’s father attempted to “scare the gay away” through physical abuse, but when that didn’t work, his parents allegedly sent the 10-year-old youngster to conversion therapy in their home state of Kansas.