Founder of Southern Conversion Therapy Organization Denounces the Practice After Coming Out

The founder of the South Carolina-based conversion therapy program Hope for Wholeness has come out as gay and denounced conversion therapy in an interview with The Post and Courier.

After two decades with the organization and then being abruptly fired form the board of directors two years ago, founder McKrae Game denounced conversion therapy and apologized for his role in it in a Facebook post posted on Sunday (August 25).

“20 [years] in ex-gay ministry,” he wrote in the post. “I was wrong! Please forgive me… I certainly regret where I caused harm. I know that creating the organization 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.”

His Facebook profile picture now proudly bears a rainbow border.

Game told The Post and Courier that he has completely condemned the act of conversion therapy and has moved on to be in outspoken opposition to the practice.

“Conversion therapy is not just a lie, but it’s very harmful,” he said. “Because it’s false advertising… 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?”

Game told The Post and Courier that he began to believe he was gay when he was 11 but kept his feelings to himself until he turned 18 and developed a secret intimate relationship with an older gay man who lived in his apartment complex.

Josh Crocker, a gay man who reached out to Hope for Wholeness for counseling in college, said that Game’s apology and move away from supporting conversion therapy was “inadequate.”

“I think he should be afforded the time and space to process all the things he needs to process and become who he is,” Crocker told The Post and Courier. “But I’d love for him to apply that same passion he had for Hope for Wholeness… to advocacy for the LGBTQ community… and to dismantle conversion therapy and ex-gay ministries.”

Conversion therapy has been publicly opposed and condemned by many major medical organizations, including the American Psychological Association and the American Medical Association. There are been many legislative moves made nationwide to outlaw the practice, including in Georgia. Locally, Mayor of Atlanta Keisha Lance Bottoms introduced legislation that establishes the city’s opposition to conversion therapy.