“Ex-gay” celebrity Christian Schizzel has come out gay, saying that he was manipulated into believing that he was or could be straight.

Schizzel was encouraged to seek help after coming out gay to friends and family at the age of 18. Christian counselors told him that the “cause” of his sexuality was the abuse he suffered at the hands of his stepfather.

He appeared on several daytime talk shows, including Oprah and Dr. Drew, where he discussed his attempt to change his sexuality from gay to straight.

In 2011, he told Our America host Lisa Ling that being gay wasn't “God's plan for us.”

Schizzel told Religion News Service (RNS) that the therapies he received at the Janet Boynes Ministries and Bachmann & Associates counseling centers damaged him. Boynes has built a career promoting the notion that being gay and Christian is incompatible. Outgoing Rep. Michele Bachmann and her husband Marcus Bachmann, who together own Bachmann & Associates, have previously touted Boynes' work.

“Coming out publicly and sharing is important to me because my sexuality has been exploited my whole life by the Christian community, both knowingly and un-knowingly,” Schizzel said.

“When I was trying to be 'straight' I spoke to youth, churches, camps, on television shows and even shot documentaries in hopes of proving my worth to my Christian community and God. I'm coming out this second time as my true self – a gay man – louder than before so we can all learn from the mistakes made and the harmful effects of reparative therapy can be uncovered and so that people who have used my story against other gay people won't have it as a weapon anymore.”

Schizzel said that Boynes reacted badly when he told her that he was gay.

“[W]hen I told her I was gay and no longer going to continue in trying to change my sexuality, she told me to delete her contact information and never speak to her again,” he said.

“In the end,” he added, “my sexuality is a beautiful gift from God, and every day, I have found, I have to make a choice to honor it in the straight man's world.”