After $30,000 for controversial conversion therapy, three attempts at exorcism and one failed marriage, Peterson Toscano finally resolved the conflict between his faith and sexuality – he was gay.

It took 17 years to accept it.

Whether called straight to gay, conversion or reparative therapy, the practice Mr Toscano put himself through purports to help individuals change their sexual orientation.

There are those who claim the practice, largely supported by fundamentalist Christian churches, to have changed them from homosexual to heterosexual. They are know as “ex-gay”.

But as far as Mr Toscano – who calls himself an “ex-gay survivor” – is concerned, not only does it not work, the process is “psychologically damaging”.

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By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.