The Inheritance of Shame: A Memoir

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By Peter Gajdics

The Inheritance of Shame details the six years author Peter Gajdics spent in a bizarre form of conversion therapy that attempted to “cure” him of his homosexuality. Kept with other patients in a cult-like home in British Columbia, Canada, Gajdics was under the authority of a dominating, rogue psychiatrist who controlled his patients, in part, by creating and exploiting a false sense of family.

Juxtaposed against his parents’ tormented past — his mother’s incarceration and escape from a communist concentration camp in post-World War II Yugoslavia, and his father’s upbringing as an orphan in war-torn Hungary — Gajdics’ story explores the universal themes of childhood trauma, oppression, and intergenerational pain. Told over a period of decades, the book shows us the damaging repercussions of conversion therapy and reminds us that resilience, compassion, and the courage to speak the truth exist within us all.