‘Please forgive me': Former conversion therapy leader comes out as gay, apologizes

McKrae Game, a conversion therapy leader for two decades, came out as gay in June and is asking for forgiveness for the harm he said he caused. 

Game founded the faith-based conversion therapy program Hope for Wholeness, formerly known as Truth Ministry, in 1999. It is based in his hometown of Spartanburg, South Carolina, where he still resides. More than two decades later, he is disavowing the organization he once led.  In November 2017, he was fired by the group’s board of directors. 

“There’s many good memories. But I certainly regret where I caused harm. I know that creating the organization that still lives was in a large way causing harm,” Game wrote in a Facebook post last week. “Creating a catchy slogan that put out a very misleading idea of ‘Freedom from homosexuality through Jesus Christ’ was definitely harmful.”

In the beginning of the post, he admitted, “I WAS WRONG! Please forgive me!” 

“Promoting the triadic model that blamed parents and conversion or prayer therapy, that made many people believe that their orientation was wrong, bad, sinful, evil, and worse that they could change was absolutely harmful,” he admitted. 

Game said at one time, he was working with so many youth that he had a weekly youth group, “where they’d share why they were there, and I would guide them in how to not be gay.” 

“What a sad commentary of my past verses today, or a bad joke as many may see it. I believe all of these young men are now out/gay and one that I worked with for many years is married to a man and living in San Francisco,” he said. 

South Carolina’s The Post and Courier interviewed Game, and he said when the reporter asked him if he’d like to see Hope for Wholeness shut down, he responded, “I’d like all exgay ministry and conversion therapy counselors and organizations shut down.”

“Conversion therapy is not just a lie, but it’s very harmful,” Game told the paper. “Because it’s false advertising.”

Game had developed a curriculum, which he named Hope for Wholeness, that teaches same-sex attraction is a multi-causal developmental disorder, according to the paper. In 2013, Truth Ministry re-branded to Hope for Wholeness.

It’s unclear how many people the group has counseled, though Game estimated that figure is well into the thousands, the report said. In a 2007 IRS Form 990 filing, the ministry said it administered 528 counseling sessions and held at least 60 group meetings, according to the paper.

“I created it all,” Game said of Hope for Wholeness. “We have harmed generations of people.”

Last week, Game appeared to confirm his coming out on Twitter. 

“I’m not a Twitterer! I primarily use Facebook and IG and Snap with friends. So oh yeah, I came out in June. Sorry religious friends. Message me. Would love to catch up or make new friends. Marital status is complicated. We’re friends,” he tweeted. 

Game told the paper that so far, “Most people in the gay community have treated me ridiculously kind... liking me for me now and not who I was.” 

“And I hope they just give me the chance to talk to them so I can hear them out and apologize,” he said. 

Game also told the Post & Courier that he realizes that an apology for many people won’t be enough, and that he will likely be apologizing for the rest of his life.

This story was reported from Los Angeles.