Norman Goldwasser is the clinical director of Horizon Psychological Services in Miami Beach, Florida. He claims that sexual orientation is “modifiable” and “changeable.” He also thinks that homosexuality is comparable to obsessive compulsive disorder and sexual abuse. Despite all this, Goldwasser was recently discovered seeking hookups from men on a gay dating apps, as first reported by the LGBT non profit group Truth Wins Out (TWO).
Using the screen name “hotnhairy72,” Goldwasser shared nude images of himself and listed interests such as “kissing,” “massage,” and “married men,” among other more sexually explicit ones.
Goldwasser was outed after TWO founder Wayne Besen received a tip from someone who claimed to be a former patient of Goldwasser’s. Besen then created a fake profile and reached out to Goldwasser and was able to connect with him. After Goldwasser made plans to meet with Besen in a Florida hotel room, Besen revealed his true identity and confronted the licensed psychologist over his practice of ex-gay therapy.
After initially trying to deny it, Goldwasser eventually admitted it was him on the gay dating apps after Besen showed him screenshots of his profile. NBC News later confirmed Goldwasser was the man Besen communicated with on the app.
Speaking to NBC News, Goldwasser said his outing is “painful” but will be “a catalyst for me seeking the right help for myself.”
“It is sad that despite the fact that I have been able to help many people over the years who have suffered from the effects of child sexual abuse and sexual addiction, I obviously was unable to help myself,” he wrote in an email to NBC. “There is no justification for my personal behavior and I deeply regret the pain I have caused people in my personal life.”
As TWO points out, 14 states and the District of Columbia have laws that make conversion therapy for minors illegal, but religious groups are able to use loopholes to continue applying the debunked treatment to minors.
TWO clarified that it only outs people when they show hypocrisy.
Truth Wins Out does not engage in the outing of people participating in ex-gay programs unless there is overwhelming hypocrisy, exchange of commerce, and the threat of harm to LGBT youth. The Goldwasser outing passes all three tests.
In a 2010 blog post on the Christian conservative website Free Republic, Goldwasser (who is Jewish) wrote that “conventional wisdom and the mainstream psychological community” are wrong when it comes to gay conversion therapy.
“The real truth is that there is a plethora of solid clinical research and experience that strongly supports the real facts—that orientation, in many, if not most cases, is modifiable, and indeed changeable, given the right motivation, treatment plan, and therapeutic technologies that are currently available,” Goldwasser wrote.
But as the Human Rights Campaign points out, the therapy as been “rejected by every mainstream medical and mental health organization for decades, but due to continuing discrimination and societal bias against LGBTQ people, some practitioners continue to conduct conversion therapy. Minors are especially vulnerable, and conversion therapy can lead to depression, anxiety, drug use, homelessness, and suicide.”
Featured image via YouTube/TWO