A TikToker shared that his parents once hired an "exorcist" to remove the demons from his room that they believed were making him gay.
Twenty-five-year-old Andrew Hartzler, who has more than 50,000 followers on TikTok, posted footage of the "exorcist" walking through his home and ordering the devil to "go, in Jesus' name." The video went viral and is currently sitting at over 850,000 views.
At one point in the footage, the "exorcist" enters a closet. "Woo, something was in here, in Jesus' name," he can be heard saying. "We commission angels to be in this closet," he adds.
Hartzler included a caption with the video that reads, "hi um ya obvi i was in the closet sir."
hi um ya obvi i was in the closet sir #comingout #college #exorcist
Speaking with Insider, Hartzler said that his family belonged to the International House of Prayer, a conservative evangelical sect based in Kansas City, Mo. When he first came out to his parents at age 14, they forced him to attend an antigay conversion camp, as well as conversion therapy counseling throughout high school.
"It was like some of the darkest moments of my entire life," Hartzler told the outlet of the experience. "It basically just teaches you, like, learned self-hate, like learning to repress like half of your mind. It's exhausting."
While Hartzler was home from college one Christmas break, he came out to his parents a second time. It went poorly, and before leaving to return to school, he installed hidden surveillance cameras in his room to monitor his belongings. He ended up capturing footage of the "exorcism," which he said he was not surprised to see.
"My father thought my identity issues were a 'demonic stronghold,'" he told Insider. "He always used that type of language around my sexuality."
On why he chose to post the video now, Hartzler said, "It was really important for people to see that there are right-wing Christian fanatics who are subjecting their children to this type of practice and that they believe being gay is something profoundly evil that has to be performed away by some ritual."
Hartzler — who now works for Oklahomans for Equality, an LGBTQ+ human rights group — stated that he is no longer on speaking terms with his parents. You can follow him on TikTok here.