A gay man in Mississippi has alleged that he was sexually abused by a Baptist charge male teacher in an attempt to change is sexual orientation from homosexuality. According to a report by the Associated Press on Sunday, 32-year-old Jeff White has filed a complaint alleging the abuse.
White, who was enrolled at Bethel Baptist School in Walls, Mississippi when he was 14, told the Washington Blade in an interview that the male teacher repeatedly forced him to engage in sexual activity during a period of three years. He said that the teacher scheduled an appointment with him each Wednesday so that he could attempt to change him with the sexual abuse.
White told the Washington Blade, “He would rape me because I was gay and because it would make me hate men and make me change.” The emotional devastation has caused White to file the lawsuit because he felt a responsibility to stand up against people who harmed him back in 1990s. In doing so, he knows he is helping others who may have also endured same abuse.
“By speaking out against the wrongdoings that were committed within the walls of Bethel Baptist School,” White continued. “I hope to shed light on the darkness that is so easily hidden within the church, and to help ensure that no one else suffers the pain that I had to endure.”
White, who is now the executive director of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Rainbow Center, said he was inspired to come forward by the National Center for Lesbian Rights’ #BornPerfect campaign aimed at bringing and end to anti-gay conversion therapy tactics. The NCLR also helped White file the complaint. Samantha Ames, an attorney for the organization, told the Blade that the NCLR is proud to “represent someone this courageous.” The church has denied the allegations, but intends to cooperate in the ongoing investigation.