Former Disney Channel Star Matthew Scott Montgomery Bravely Admits That His Parents Put Him In Gay Conversion Therapy: “Disney Had Nothing To Do With It”


Actor Matthew Scott Montgomery revealed in a candid conversation with fellow Disney Channel star Christy Carlson Romano that he attended conversion therapy on his days off from filming hit Disney series like Shake It Up and Sonny with a Chance.

During a recent episode of Romano’s podcast Vulnerable, Montgomery explained why he attended the conversion therapy sessions, and what ultimately drove him to stop.

“Disney was always really great to me. Disney had nothing to do with it, it was not their idea,” he clarified. “They didn’t know, no one knew, my cast mates didn’t know at the time.”

He explained that he grew up with “very, very conservative” parents in an environment where he was raised to believe that “gay people are the most evil thing that could possibly exist.” He did not come out to his parents until he was around 18 years old, when he played a gay teenager who was being abused in the Del Shores play, Yellow, in Los Angeles. When they visited to see the show, he used the opportunity to finally come out to them.

“It was bad… My mom collapsed, sobbing, when she found out. My parents were really upset and they left town,” he recalled. The next day, his father told him he set him up with “reparative therapy,” another name for conversion therapy, because he felt “being gay is a choice.”

“I was over 18 so I technically went to conversion therapy of my own free will,” he noted. “But you have to understand, in the environment that I grew up in, you were taught that you deserved to be punished all the time… I felt like I deserved to go to this reparative therapy.”

So, while Montgomery filmed Shake It Up, Shake It Up and Sonny with a Chance six days a week, he attended conversion therapy on his days off.

Matthew Scott Montgomery in 'So Random'
Photo: Eric McCandless/Disney Channel

According to Montgomery, the conversion therapy he attended was specifically for “gay men who wanted to be turned from gay to straight and make it as a straight movie star.” He said he eventually “woke up” and decided to stop attending.

The actor credited Hayley Kiyoko and Demi Lovato, who both got their start on Disney Channel, for showing him support throughout the years.

“Demi’s family. That’s my family, that’s my soulmate,” he said. “That’s the person who loves me the deepest. At that point, I was able to begin to carefully curate a life that was filled with love and art and expression that was satisfying me.”

But he had some parting words for anyone considering conversion therapy.

“There’s nothing wrong with you. There’s not a thing in the world wrong with you,” he said. “You are loved. You deserve to have a perfect beautiful life.”


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