Patrick McAlvey entered therapy to change his sexual orientation at the age of 19. His former counselor, Mike Jones, was the director of Corduroy Stone, an affiliate of now-defunct Exodus International. He originally met Jones after he spoke at a Church youth ministry, while McAlvey was still in Middle School. The two connected years later, after McAlvey returned to Lansing.
McAlvey says that his sessions with Jones included prolonged hugs, the suggestion that he use handyman tools to increase his masculinity and questions about the size of his genitalia. There was also an episode of holding therapy where he reclined into the lap of his supposedly ex-gay counselor for an hour. The goal, according to McAlvey, was to get comfortable with his own manliness by “feeling the strength” and “smelling the smell” of another man. Today, McAlvey is “out” and has accepted his sexual orientation
“I think it does a lot of damage to peoples mental health”, said McAlvey. “If I had had a fair representation (of gay life) I could have avoided a lot of suffering.”