‘Virtuous pedophile’ who admits being attracted to children but has never abused anyone is trying to encourage others in his situation to come forward.
A 43-year-old man identified as Todd Nickerson, from Tennessee in the United States, who is a self-confessed ‘non-offending pedophile’, has admited of being attracted to children and has encouraged other pedophiles to seek help and support for their sexual inclinations.
According to a reports, the man disclosed that he has never abused anyone, claims pedophilia is better understood as a sexual orientation – although one he believes it is unethical to act on, he is encouraging others in his situation to come forward.
Speaking exclusively to newsmen, the paedophile who is a moderator on the online forum ‘VirPed’ – short for ‘virtuous pedophiles’, also sometimes called ‘ethical pedophiles’ or ‘gold star pedophiles’, said:
‘I am a pedophile. I’m not a monster. I have the attraction but I don’t act on it. I have never ever sexually abused a child and I never will. I do not look at child porn, I never will. I obey the laws, I respect the laws, I respect society’s position on this. I understand it and agree with it.’
Nickerson went public as a pedophile in a blog for American liberal news site, Salon in September 2015, generating a huge quantity of hostile replies in online comment sections and on social media.
However, he also received a large amount of positive feedback – including messages from people who had suffered at the hands of pedophiles.
He said: ‘You get the people who tell you to kill yourself and say you should be castrated and all of that kind of thing.
‘Publicly, there was a lot of backlash but privately it’s been very different. I got hundreds and hundreds emails from people who were very supportive, a lot of which were from people who were survivors of abuse.’
Nickerson says becoming an advocate for other ‘virtuous pedophiles’ has helped turn his life around and given it meaning.
‘I am part of one of the most hated groups of society, no question about it, we are the scapegoats du jour,’ he said.
‘If you look at history, there is always one minority that everybody kind of persecutes and I think at the moment we’re it. I would like to see some protections for people like me, protections against being fired from their job and being protected from violence.’
Nickerson says his goals are twofold – to end the demonisation of pedophiles, which he says helps drive them underground, and to encourage other offenders to seek support.
He said: ‘I would like people to empathise with us and understand that this is not a choice.
‘We didn’t choose our sexuality, we just have to deal with it and their empathy helps us and the abuse actually makes things worse for us. We just want to educate the public and help people understand where we are coming from and hopefully see our humanity.’