Sergio Viula was a leading purveyor of evangelical ex-gay treatments in Brazil, but has now left all that behind, referring to it as “brainwashing” in an interview he gave to the Secular Humanist League of Brazil. In his words:

In fact, ex-gays don’t exist – it’s pure self-suggestion.

Today I know that I was deceiving myself. But back then, I thought that every sentiment or attraction was a mere case of ‘temptation’ and that it could be overcome with prayer and dedication to god.

Nobody really quit being gay.

Can you figure out how much suffering to myself and to all of those who have already worked or been influenced by this kind of ‘ministry’? That’s enraging! And there are people repeating that stupid discourse until today.

Yes, I am in peace with myself today, happy, and I wonder how I could stand such useless existential castration for such a long time.

[What we ex-gay purveyors did]was an act of violence against ourselves, as we had internalized the homophobia that surrounded us from early childhood, as well as against the others, because we reproduced that very homophobia which they had internalized by themselves long before. We just reinforced it even more.

If you want to attend a church, search for one which is mature enough to even question the validity of its own religious statements.

Viura was brainwashed, he did bad things, he gave it some thought, he outgrew it and now he’s not mincing words. Go and read it; it’s a breath of fresh air.

[h/t Ex-Gay Watch]