Chris Csabs moved to Canberra at the age of 19 because he thought something was fundamentally wrong with him.
At 16 he knew he had homosexual tendencies and, according to his faith, this was a sign he was broken and even possessed by demons.
He willingly moved away from his family and friends in Sydney to undergo an "ex gay" course called Living Waters. The six-month program involved weekly meetings with a manual of work in order to suppress his sexual orientation.
But it didn't work. Seven years of conversion therapies left Mr Csabs a shell of his former self and praying God would end his life.
"The toll that it took on me psychologically and emotionally and everything was just massive," he said.
"I'd stopped singing. I'd stopped laughing. I'd stopped making jokes. All of these things that were so integral, so a part of my personality, I'd lost them. And my parents were so concerned they started to question the ideology that they've grown up in."
For the survivors of sexuality and gender identity conversion therapies, the passage of legislation banning the practices in the ACT this week was a landmark event.
But there was still plenty of work to do.
As the co-founder of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Change Efforts (SOGICE) Survivors, Mr Csabs felt chuffed when he heard the bill had passed but said there was still gaps in the system.
For one thing, the law was targeted at conversion practices, not related ideologies or advertising materials.
"The thing about conversion practices is that it's not the practice itself that does the damage, it's the ideology that is fed to you," Mr Csabs said.
"Before I was 10 years old, I was learning that gay people were broken. I was learning that they've made choices to be that way, or that that homosexuality or gender identity is caused by something."
Nathan Despott of the advocacy group Brave Network said there were concerns over how complaints would be handled under the law.
"The effectiveness of this legislation is riding on the Human Rights Commission's implementation process and the way in which it shields survivors from being retraumatised," Mr Despott said.
One of the drawbacks of the law is that it is only an offence to facilitate a practice for children or individuals with decision-making impairments when in reality many people undergo the practices as an adult.
Mr Csabs said people often didn't realise they were going through conversion practice because the language was more subtle. They now speak of "suppressing" rather than "changing" sexual tendencies.
"They are no longer, you know, strapping people down and electrocuting them ... there are no longer camps where you literally go to a pray away the gay," he said.
He said survivors may be reluctant to go through the complaints process because they may become retraumatised or wish to maintain a relationship with their faith community.
For Mr Despott, the most important part of the law was the affirmation all people have characteristics of sexuality and gender identity and these did not constitute a disorder, disease, illness, deficiency, disability or shortcoming.
He said the law should be praised for separating pseudoscientific conversion ideology from legitimate religious theology.
"The foundations of this this law is about so much more than just banning a form of quackery," Mr Despott said.
"It's actually the long overdue affirmation by the by government, that is, you are not disordered or damaged or broken if you are queer."