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Digital Subscriptions > DNA Magazine > DNA #222 | The Sex Issue > “PRAYING THE GAY AWAY NEARLY KILLED ME”


Unable to reconcile his faith and sexuality, Chris Csabonyi put himself through years of anguish attempting to “pray the gay away” with so-called gay conversion therapy. In the end, his salvation came from an unexpected direction, and now he’s campaigning to have the practice banned nationally.

When I speak to Chris Csabonyi over the phone he sounds as though he’s beaming. A petition he has launched to ban gay conversion therapy in Australia has been signed by over 40,000 people, has helped prompt an inquiry into the issue by the Victorian State Government, and has just lead the Australian Capital Territory Government to announce it will outlaw the practice.

Yet, life couldn’t have been more different for Chris less than a decade ago. Having been lead to believe that religious counselling could turn him heterosexual, if only he put his faith in God, he had been left feeling suicidal and like a failure after spending years in constant prayer.

Chris says his journey into the ex-gay movement wasn’t motivated by a need to please his family, rather, it was because he believed he needed to become heterosexual to save his soul.

“I was brought up as a Baptist, but my parents weren’t the ones who pushed me into this”, he tells DNA, “I really wanted to go myself.

“When you’re a kid you hear lots of things at church and for me what I heard was that gay people were perverted, they were demon possessed, that they were disgusting abominations – all these horrible things. So, when I started to work out that I might be gay at around the age of 10 or 11, those things I’d heard about gay people became part of how I saw myself.”

Between realising he was homosexual and deciding to seek religious counselling, there was never a moment in which Chris entertained the notion that he might be anything other than bad.

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About DNA Magazine

Bed Time! It’s about sex, it’s about sleepwear, stripping off and dressing up fun bedroom times! Welcome to a very racy edition of DNA. You want sexy? Cover model, Brandy stars in our 10-page all-bedroom-no-sleep fashion shoot. Plus, we have an 8-page fantasy photo spread by Joel Devereux – 8 models, eight different kinks to explore. Meanwhile, Hollywood hunk, Chris Salvatore strips down for the lens of Venfield 8. Our Style pages by Joshua Heath are usually where we put clothes on models. This month, we’re taking clothes off Euan Doidge, star of Priscila: The Musical – and adding snakes! Nothing says sexy like a hot, naked actor with a serpent sliding down his thigh! For raunchy reads you’ll be hard pressed to find anything hotter than Jack Ladd’s latest sex-venture with a handsome hero in long johns, or Cameron McCool’s Your Best Sex Move column. Cameron comes onboard as DNA’s sex expert this month and, in future issues, he’ll be sharing great tips to help you get more out of sex. Write to him with your questions or share your best sex moves. Still talking sex, we go where the brave should fear to tread… Berlin. Yes, it’s the sex capital of the gay world where fantasies can be fulfilled but, be careful what you wish for. Rough, Dirty, Borderline Obscene is a cautionary tale from Marc Andrews. We don’t have a totally one-tracked mind. This month there are great feature stories to get into like our interview with Sally Field’s gay son, Sam. He tells us that growing up gay can be hard, even in the most loving household. Growing up gay can be especially hard when you’re trying to pray yourself straight. In a harrowing account of his youth, Chris Csabonyi recalls the years he spent in gay conversion therapy. Now, he’s campaigning for the practice to be made illegal and politicians are taking notice. Read his story and, perhaps, join his fight. All this and more in DNA #222, where too much sexy is barely enough!