"I went to my junior prom and the next day my parents took me to a psychiatrist to cure me," the 54-year-old Murphy said.
Luckily for Murphy and generations of future fans, his psychiatrist was far more informed about human sexuality than Murphy's parents were at the time. After "several sessions," the doctor spoke privately with Murphy's parents and gave them a choice. They could try to change their son and lose him in the process, or they could "accept him and love him" instead.
"Thankfully, I had a really good shrink," he explained.
His parents made the right choice eventually, but their acceptance came slowly.
"I was very blessed," Murphy continued. "When I went to my senior prom, I had been through that but I still took a girlfriend because I wasn't allowed to come in with my fellow."
Murphy made the revelations while publicizing his latest movie, The Prom, which drops December 11 on Netflix and stars Merryl Streep and Nicole Kidman. The adaptation of Matthew Sklar's 2018 hit Broadway musical of the same name is his latest effort for the streamer this year, adding to hits Hollywood and Ratched. Some of his other credits include Glee, Pose, the 2006 Running With Scissors, and the 2014 adaptation of Larry Kramer's play The Normal Heart.
While Murphy's own psychiatric experiences weren't as unpleasant as those depicted in Ratched, they nonetheless were emotional and he has used the memory to inspire and connect with others.
"I know the feeling of being humiliated for your sexual preference. I know the feeling of thinking that you have no allies, and then it turns out you do," he observed. He later added "if only I would have had this feeling of acceptance and belonging, how different my life would have been.