Anti-Conversion Therapy Activist Mathew Shurka: “It’s Nonsense, Trust Your Heart”

"You don’t have erectile dysfunction. You’re just attracted to men, nothing else."

This letter is part of our inaugural editorial series, “Letter to Myself,” in which we asked 40 remarkable queer people to write a note to their younger selves.


There is nothing wrong with you. Don’t feel ashamed. You are discovering your body and falling in love for the first time. It’s actually really exciting!

Your therapist is doing everything he can to make you straight. It’s nonsense. Trust your heart instead. Your parents are only putting you in conversion therapy because they’re scared and don’t know what to do. Tell them who you are. Tell them you’re gay. Don’t second guess yourself. Tell them you’re going to be great. Tell them you love them and not to worry. REALLY. Tell them not to worry. It will be tough, but they will ease off. You are strong and courageous, remember that. There will be nothing you can’t take on.

You need to remember this most when you are contemplating suicide. Don’t let the suicidal thoughts take over. They’re just thoughts, and you’re feeling stuck. It’s okay. Instead, spend time with the people who make you smile most. Spend time with people who show you unconditional love. This is crucial. Unconditional love does exist. Have sex. Don’t be scared. Don’t take the Viagra pills as your therapist says. You don’t have erectile dysfunction. You’re just attracted to men, nothing else. Take your time with men. You will get comfortable.

Make it work with your family and friends. If it doesn’t, you will make new family and friends. This is the core of your life. Your immediate environment will keep you strong. Never forget that. Show love to everyone you meet. If they’re nasty, then what they need is more love.


Mathew Shurka is an advisory committee member for the #BornPerfect campaign.

Read more letters here.

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