Disney star Matthew Scott Montgomery 'punished' with conversion therapy after coming out as gay
Former Disney Channel star Matthew Scott Montgomery speaks out how his parents signed up to go to conversion therapy when he came out as gay and reveals how he eventually learned to accept himself.
Matthew Scott Montgomery was "punished" with conversion therapy after he came out as gay.
The 34-year-old actor had been trying his luck at an acting career in LA when he informed his parents of his sexuality and he has now revealed that they were so distraught that they signed him up for conversion therapy.
Speaking on the 'Vulnerable' podcast, he told 'Kim Possible' star Christy Carlson Romano: "I was just over 18 and I wasn't out to my parents at that point. So I came out to my parents and I was telling them I was in this play about a kid who gets abused and kicked out for being gay. My mom collapsed sobbing when she found out.
"My parents were really upset and they left town. My dad hit me up like the next day and he’s like, ‘We feel like we don’t know you. We’re going to come back in town, and we want you to introduce yourself to us. So my dad got a hotel room and my parents sat there. He put down this huge stack of research he had done. He said 'Being gay is a choice, and I have set up you up with therapy.'
"I was 18 so I technically went to conversion of my free will but in the environment I grew up in, you were taught you had to be punished. "
Matthew went on to star alongside Demi Lovato in 'Sonny with a Chance' and would spend his days off from shooting the sitcom at the facility as he noted that the treatment eventually turned into shock therapy.
He added: "I got 'Sonny with a Chance' and I was on Disney five days a week.
"At the time, the career stuff was going so well that I was still in this broken prison brain of thinking, 'I'm on red carpets. I'm on TV every week. This is too good, I should be punished on my days off.
"It was all very secretive, they didn't want you to know who the celebrities were that were going in there.
"I had to do science equations. They taught there that at this place was that there was no such place as a gay man, just straight buys who have emotionally overbearing mothers and emotionally unavailable fathers.
"And when I experience shame, I seek out same-sex attraction. Playing football was part of the homework. I had to apologise to my dad. It's all part of this equation. Then it turned into that thing...shock therapy. "
"I would have these silver rods that I would have to hold in my hands, and they're really kind of like covert and tricky about how they got you to do it because they were like, 'We're going to try something a little bit different, just try holding these'. Then they'd do light buzzing and try to build up your tolerance for the electric shock."
The former Disney Channel star went on to add that it was the acceptance of 'Sorry Not Sorry' hitmaker Demi and others that made him realise that there was nothing wrong with his sexuality but alleged he has met several A-Listers who have been through the same thing.
He said: "One day I just kind of woke up. Maybe part of it was that I'd had the healing of being an actor. Having Demi's family accept me and knowing people who feel how Demi's family does, at that point, I truly felt like I was born.
"Since I came out about my conversion therapy on TikTok, I've had other gay actors come and say 'I went there too'.
"People who you would know. They understand what I've been through. There's a lot of side effects for you to deal with and stuff still comes up years later."