A self-described "virtuous pedophile" has created a nonprofit organization to help those who are sexually attracted to minors but choose not to act on their urges.
Gary Gibson, 65, is a former teacher living in Oregon and has spent his life struggling with his attraction to girls under the age of 12, according to The Daily Mail.
"I had never called myself a pedophile, but for more than 50 years I have been sexually attracted to little girls. I choose not to act on it," he said in a video titled "Coming Out as a Pedophile" published Dec. 31.
"I knew I was attracted to little girls, I was always a little close, maybe I hugged them too tight, or did some things I shouldn’t have done, but I never penetrated a child, never -- what I would call -- had sex with a child," he went on. "I choose not to do that, but I struggle with it."
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Gibson is happily married, calling himself "extremely lucky" to have found a woman who is not disgusted by his sexual desires.
"She was very supporting and accepting and was confident I had not done anything inappropriate," he told The Sun.
His wife, Tabitha, says that he doesn't consider him to be a pedophile.
"I don’t consider him to be a pedophile because like most people I consider a pedophile to be a child molester -- which he isn’t," she said.
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Gibson has two children from a previous marriage according to The Mail, and has struggled with the desire to inappropriately touch them.
"The first time I remember changing my daughter’s diaper I thought, 'Am I going to touch her,' but I made the decision right there that was not going to happen," he said.
In 2014, Gibson started the Association for Sexual Abuse Prevention International (ASAP), a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping non-offending pedophiles come to terms with their desires and seek treatment. He claims that it's difficult to find mental health professionals willing to work with self-described pedophiles for fear of stigmatization.
"90 percent of therapists don't want anything to do with pedophiles," he told The Sun. "They fear will they be stigmatized ...They are afraid they will be outed as helping pedophiles."
Gibson maintains that he is firmly against any sexual contact with minors, and does not desire any changes regarding child sex abuse laws. His organization is only for so-called "virtuous pedophiles," or those who have never committed an offense.
The 65-year-old, reflecting on his life, tells The Sun that he has struggled with self-esteem issues.
"If people knew I was a pedophile they wouldn't like me," he says. "But overall my life has gone fairly well. Even though I have come out to a lot of people, they are all very supportive."