Free To Live

Real People, Real Stories

We asked people to share their gender change and sexuality change experiences.
The Government wants to ban this type of counselling and support…

Leah’s story

Leah is an ex-lesbian, as well as someone who experienced gender dysphoria as a child. The counselling she received saved her life. Ex-LGBT people like her are living proof that real and lasting change is possible, that suicides have been prevented, and that it is good for people to have the freedom to choose the type of help and support they want.

Real Stories from Real People


“My dad told me that if I wanted his love, then I should become his little boy” When I was 8 years old, my dad told …
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“Those that are not comfortable with this should be free to get the help they need for themselves – as I was!” From when I can …
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“This same-sex attraction was unwanted and caused huge amounts of distress and mental anguish including suicidal thoughts.” I was born in Hamilton NZ, and at the …
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“I have been free from the torment in my mind for more than forty years” Before I was five, I experienced three separations from both parents. …
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“I believe the significance of my journey is that I had the freedom to seek out help” I was born in New Zealand. At a very …
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“I was really carrying a burden within me.”
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What does a ‘Conversion Therapy’ ban really mean?

We agree – all New Zealanders should be protected from coercive, abusive or involuntary psychological or spiritual practices. However, participation in psychological assessments, counselling sessions, prayer meetings and other therapeutic practices is almost always an expression of voluntary behaviour and personal freedom. ‘Conversion therapy’ bans would prevent people from getting help to live the lifestyle they choose – if that lifestyle is heterosexual or based on their biological sex.

Banning practices which bring about positive change for people in pain, changes they genuinely desire for themselves, is the real crime.


James’ story

James was 14 when he was told his only option for happiness was to embrace his identity as a gay man. So he pursued it and found the perfect long-term relationship. He also became a strong advocate of gay rights, challenging people and institutions that did not accept the LGBTQ community. But his story takes a dramatic turn and leaves us questioning – should the support and counselling he received be banned, as proposed by the Government…

Your story

Have you benefited from counselling for unwanted sexuality and gender issues, and oppose a counselling ban that is being proposed in New Zealand. Tell us your story. (These could be provided anonymously).

Featured Video – The problem with banning “conversion therapy”

Walt Heyer shares the problem with banning ‘Conversion Therapy’
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