SNL Star Bowen Yang On Parents Sending Him to Gay Conversion Therapy: 'It Led to Very Dangerous Situations'

“Neither side really understood where the other was coming from.”

Bowen Yang opened up about his parents sending him to gay conversion therapy when he was a teenager.

There was a huge chasm of misunderstanding,” the “Saturday Night Live” breakout star said during an interview with People on Friday. “Neither side really understood where the other was coming from, and it led to very dangerous situations overall.”

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“What was always constant was the intention of love from both sides,” he insisted, however. “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 for granted.”

In January 2020, the 30-year-old actor told The New York Times his parents set him up with a gay conversion specialist when he was 17 after they discovered “lewd conversations” on his AOL Messenger. Although that day was fraught with “yelling” and misunderstanding, Yang told People his family has come together since then to arrive in a “healthy place.”

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“There has been a nice shift where they go, ‘Great job,'” he explained of their response to his fame. “They’ve just been encouraging in the purest sense. It’s not like I’m getting sketch ideas from them, and they know what the boundaries are.”

He went on to say his parents understand his job at “SNL” was “hard won”

“They think, ‘Wow, he pulled it off.’ And my mom said to me recently, she was like, ‘Bowen you’re very lucky to be doing this.’ And I was like, ‘I know mom.'”


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