Mathew Shurka

Co-Founder & Chief Strategist, Born Perfect

Mathew Shurka is a conversion therapy survivor and Co-Founder of Born Perfect, a campaign that has become a global movement to end conversion therapy. Mathew leads the campaign alongside a team of lawyers and other conversion therapy survivors committed to protect LGBTQ+ people through legislation, litigation, and public education.

During his five years of conversion therapy from ages 16-21, Mathew endured many different types of fraudulent and scientifically discredited “treatments” that he was told would “cure” his homosexuality. Most traumatizing, he was instructed to stay away from his mother and two sisters for three years based on the false belief that being gay is caused by a man being too close to his mother or other female relatives.

Mathew sought out treatment for the trauma he endured and reconciled with his family. At 24 he began advocating to end conversion therapy with The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and worked with NCLR to create Born Perfect in 2014.

By elevating the voices of survivors and their families, educating policymakers, and partnering with supportive therapists, and professional organizations, 18 states and more than 50 cities have passed laws to protect LGBTQ+ youth from conversion therapy.

Mathew’s influence and personal advocacy has been vital for passing legislation and bringing awareness to mainstream media to further educate and help create inclusion for all people.