Mathew Shurka shares gay conversion therapy experience with News 12 Long Island amid new state Assembly bill

A new effort is being made by New York State to ban a therapy that claims to "cure" homosexuality. One man spoke with News 12

Surka says five years of undergoing the therapy

Surka says five years of undergoing the therapy has left him emotionally scarred.

GREAT NECK - A new effort is being made by New York State to ban a therapy that claims to "cure" homosexuality.

One man spoke with News 12 Long Island about how five years of undergoing the therapy has left him emotionally scarred. Great Neck North High School graduate Mathew Shurka says he first told his father he was gay at age 16.

Shurka says his father came across a conversion therapist who told him he was simply suffering from a psychological condition that could be cured. He was told to hang out with straight peers, watch heterosexual pornography, and stay away from women, including his mother, to avoid picking up feminine traits.

Shurka says his grades dropped significantly, and by junior year he was almost failing out of high school.  He says he also withdrew from his friends, and contemplated suicide.

Lawmakers in the Assembly are now considering a bill that would ban conversion therapy in the state. Opponents of the bill say it may infringe upon free speech, but Shurka says it could potentially save lives.

The 26-year-old says he now embraces his homosexuality, something he wishes he would have done all those years ago. He says he has only recently been able to repair relationships with members of his family that he was estranged with during his conversion therapy.

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Top 5 Must See

The footage was shared online by Thomas Marrone, 1 Video appears to show abuse inside NYDogWorks in Oceanside
Executive director of the Maritime Museum Terry Blipman 2 LI Maritime Museum hosts Dutch Christmas Festival
Police say James Burke, 76, veered off the 3 Police: Medical event led to fatal crash in Huntington Station
Empire State Development Corp. canceled its 4-year-old request 4 Plans for Belmont Park soccer stadium nixed by state
Angela Conte-Gentille says she remembers growing up in 5 Facebook post fuels push for East Meadow Ave. decorations

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Features

Need help this holiday season? We've got you Holiday Help Series

Need a gift idea? Perhaps you need a fun idea to do with the kids?

Each week a different shelter visits News 12 Dog Day Fridays Series

Each week a different shelter visits News 12 Long Island with pets up for adoption.

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to News12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service Electric℠ video customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.

LOGIN SUBSCRIBE