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Disney Star Matthew Scott Montgomery On Secret Conversion Therapy Past

Disney Star Matthew Scott Montgomery On Secret Conversion Therapy Past

Matthew Scott Montgomery
@matthew_scott_montgomery/Instagram

He also revealed which fellow queer Disney alums saved him.

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For fans of Shake It Up,Sonny With A Chance, and So Random it looked as though

Disney star Matthew Scott Montgomery was living the dream. But now the actor opened up again about living a conversion therapy nightmare behind the scenes.

During a guest spot on Disney Channel alum Christy Carlson Romano’s podcast Vulnerable, Montgomery opened up about that time in his life. It began when he came out to his “very, very conservative parents” who the actor said believed “gay people are the most evil thing that could possibly exist.”

It began with them putting the young actor into what they called reparative therapy, but Montgomery says is just “another word for conversion therapy.” What he says began as simple talk therapy and soon became electro-shock therapy.

Though Montgomery was 18 at the time, the brainwashing he had endured growing up meant he was afraid to disobey his parents. “In the environment I grew up in, you are taught that you deserve to be punished all the time.”

Montgomery shared that no one else knew what he was going through, neither Disney nor his costars had any idea that on his days off from taping he was attending conversion therapy in Encino at a place that catered to “gay men who wanted to be turned from gay to straight and make it as a straight movie star,” said Montgomery.

As for what finally broke the spell and gave him the strength to leave? His costars. “At that point, I had started making close friends that I would consider family,” he recalled saying that he suddenly “just kind of woke up.”

“People like Hayley Kiyoko, who was a guest star on So Random. She and I became friends, and we bonded. When you find another queer person you just feel it, you latch onto that person,” he explained

“And Demi [Lovato] was a great friend with that stuff. Demi’s family. That’s my family, that’s my soulmate, that’s my person who loves me the deepest. And at that point, I was able to carefully curate a life that was filled with love and art and expression that was satisfying me and making me so happy in a way that I’d never been before.”

These friendships saved the actor who finally realized that he didn’t have to stay in conversion therapy, and there was nothing to fix. He hopes telling his story may do the same for someone else out there going through the same barbaric treatment. “There’s nothing wrong with you. There’s not a thing in the world wrong with you,” he said to the audience. “You are loved, you deserve to have a beautiful life that’s carefully curated the way that you deserve in joy and happiness and art, or whatever makes you happy.”

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Rachel Shatto

EIC of PRIDE.com

Rachel Shatto, Editor in Chief of PRIDE.com, is an SF Bay Area-based writer, podcaster, and former editor of Curve magazine, where she honed her passion for writing about social justice and sex (and their frequent intersection). Her work has appeared on Elite Daily, Tecca, and Joystiq, and she podcasts regularly about horror on the Zombie Grrlz Horror Podcast Network. She can’t live without cats, vintage style, video games, drag queens, or the Oxford comma.

Rachel Shatto, Editor in Chief of PRIDE.com, is an SF Bay Area-based writer, podcaster, and former editor of Curve magazine, where she honed her passion for writing about social justice and sex (and their frequent intersection). Her work has appeared on Elite Daily, Tecca, and Joystiq, and she podcasts regularly about horror on the Zombie Grrlz Horror Podcast Network. She can’t live without cats, vintage style, video games, drag queens, or the Oxford comma.