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Exorcised For Being Gay: Student's Family Tried to Cure His Homosexuality

03/07/2013 04:31 pm ET | Updated Feb 02, 2016

While the LGBT movement has made great strides in the past few years, it can still be tough for some to come out. Some communities are not as accepting as others, and minorities who are also LGBT often face additional struggles.

Patrick Malkoun, an International Development Studies student at UCLA, shared his story of coming out to his Lebanese Maronite Catholic family. After dealing with depression from being closeted, he came out to his parents, who did not react well. "I was taken to ex-gay therapy via religious means," Malkoun told host Tiffany Williams in a segment on HuffPost Live. "It was like basically an exorcism."

Malkoun used the religious ceremony to help him through a different struggle: "I drank holy water but I viewed religion in my benefit, so when I was drinking that holy water, I was thinking like 'ooh I have this big exam coming up, I could use holy water to help.'"

While his coming out experience with his immediate family was very emotional, Malkoun came out to his extended family in Lebanon entirely by accident. A family member stumbled upon an article Malkoun had penned advocating for gay rights in UCLA housing. "That was nice. I spoke with my uncle, who was saying, 'We recognize it, we accept it, I guess we're not technically cool with it -- don't hide it from us, respect us and don't flaunt it.'"

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