In an interview with PEOPLE, comedian
Bowen Yang discussed being sent to “ex-gay” therapy by his
parents as a teen.
Yang, who joined Saturday Night
Live's writing staff in 2018 and became a cast member the
following year, told the New York Times last year that after
his parents discovered he was gay at 17 they sent him to a therapist
who specialized in altering the sexual orientation of gay youth.
“They just sat me down and yelled at
me and said, 'We don't understand this. Where we come from this
doesn't happen,'” he said of his parents after they found “lewd
conversations” on his AOL Instant Messenger account.
“There was a huge chasm of
said. "Neither side really understood where the other was
coming from, and it led to very dangerous situations overall."
Still, "what was always constant
was the intention of love from both sides. It pushed me into
questioning what it meant, what was protected and what I should be
protective about in terms of being a queer person. I don't take it
Yang, 30, added that his relationship
with his parents is in a “healthy place” today and that they are
“encouraging in the purest sense” of his career.