SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – The former leaders of an anti-gay ministry is renouncing his homophobic beliefs after coming out as gay.
Mckrae Game founded one of the nation’s largest conversion therapy programs. For years, Game says he encouraged people to deny their sexuality, but now he opposes the very thing he preached.
A name tag that reads “Hope for Wholeness Mckrae Game” was among boxes of mementos in Game’s living room. He says the items represent who he used to be, but he says he’s not that person anymore.
“This is such a relief to just be able to say yes I am a gay man.” Game told 7News.
For 2 decades he preached against his own sexuality.
He founded Truth Ministry, later rebranded as Hope for Wholesome, which taught homosexual to renounce their sexuality.
“One of the things I did do was help people to deny who they are,” Game said.
A group at UCLA estimates nearly 700,000 LGBT people will undergo conversion therapy at some point in their lives. The Family Acceptance Project says people who undergo those programs are up to twice as likely to attempt suicide.
Dr. Roger Rhoades is an Upstate counselor who focuses on family relationships and opposes conversion therapy.
“Oh yeah, high suicide rates, very high suicide rates in that population. Which is very sad,” Dr. Rhoades told 7News.
Game says he’s not proud of his work, especially because he worked with a group of very vulnerable people.
“Some people would argue that you caused a lot of harm to a lot of people. What would you say to those people?” Asked 7News Reporter Stefany Bornman.
“I would agree that I did cause a lot of harm to a lot of people,” Game answered.
Game says he’s started to make reparations. The ex-leaders of the anti-gay ministry tells 7News he wants to end the very movement he started.
“I want to be a part of ending conversion therapy and ex-gay ministry. I know that’s very unrealistic,” Game told 7News. “I would like to see a start with having conversion therapy bans by professional therapist around the country.”