Two conversion therapy survivors want protections for LGBTQ youth

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08/18/2019

For Thomas Argue, growing up in Victoria County in the 1990s was idyllic in some ways, humiliating and painful in others. Argue, who is gay, was raised in Plaster Rock, where his family belonged to the Family Worship Centre, a strict Pentecostal organization. Argue thinks his mother was the first to suspect he was gay. “I grew up as a Pentecostal. I didn’t know I was gay. I didn’t know that’s what you called it.” Argue said he was playing dress-up, wearing some of his mother’s clothes. When his mother entered the room, he got a spanking. Later, he said, it became obvious he was more feminine than most boys. It led to teasing and humiliation by other kids and eventually attracted the attention of church leaders. “I was taught that if you don’t repent you’re gonna turn out to be a fruit, and being a fruit was a horrible, horrible, horrible image in my mind,” said Argue, who is now 31. “The last thing I wanted to be in life was a fruit.”

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