For those who haven’t heard of gay conversion therapy, it’s the practice of trying to “cure” individuals of their homosexuality through a process that is largely agreed by mental health professionals to be complete pseudoscience.
These therapy sessions happen in doctor’s offices and special camps around the United States. Unfortunately, the process is pretty brutal, and has been linked to lifelong psychological problems and at worst, possibly suicide.
In most cases, children are forced to go to the sessions or risk being kicked out of their homes. This whole practice is pretty much terrible, and numerous horror stories can be found online from those who had to go through these degrading sessions.
Click down to #7. It’ll make you wonder how “conversion therapy” is even legal.
12. At Least It All Ended Well
…started having him go to a “pray away the gay” counsellor. He never said anything about it being abusive or obscene, but it made him homophobic for about three years before he found a boyfriend. The happy ending is that his parents have gotten past it and they are all pretty happy.
I mean, at least it had a happy ending, right?
11. These Are Absolutely Bizarre
The first appointment was bizarre. He’d only refer to me being gay as “my ailment”. There were a lot of graphs about human desire and God being the source of that desire if I just “let his desire in.”
He stopped going to “therapy” at 15 after pretending he was “cured.” He came out again at 17, yet this time refused to go to back to “counseling.” He had to get over internalized homophobia and self-doubt. Definitely a sad story.
10. Heartbreaking Story
At my mother’s insistence, I went to one “session,” where I met with a “counselor” who spent a good 45 minutes explaining to me that only prayer would save me from the AIDS I had contracted. I was 17 and had never had sex with anyone.
My mom still thinks I have AIDS. She doesn’t answer when I call.
Can you imagine losing touch with your family based off who you love?
9. At Least They Did Have To Visit Long
Luckily, their parents didn’t force them to keep going to the “conversion therapy” sessions. Sending your child in the first place is heartless.
8. It Could Have Been Worse
Yes, this story could have been a lot worse. Sadly, a number of children have committed suicide after being forced to attend “conversion therapy” sessions.
7. How Is This Even Legal?
I managed to get by with little more than a talking-to from my pastor, but I heard stories of a lot of weird stuff from friends who went through it. Forcing the kids to dress a certain way and act in exaggeratedly masculine or feminine ways, pairing off the kids in couples and making them “practice” dating (this was never elaborated to me and I didn’t ask), showing the kids porn, all kinds of messed up stuff.
It’s good they didn’t go through all of that, but showing kids porn? There’s no way that should be legal.
6. A Lighter Story
A gay tuba player I know went through “conversion therapy.” He said, “It was like being told I should play the violin, instead of the tuba.”
He tried it.
Now he’s happily married to his gay partner, and proud of it.
5. Tragic Story
…They encourage members of this program to date and marry and so she married a guy. They told her if she just prayed hard enough, Jesus would heal her.
In her mid 40’s she decided she was tired of living a lie. That’s when I met her. While there was a part of her that wanted to be with women, she was so brain washed by her church, she just couldn’t fully walk away. After a year we stopped dating and she went back to her husband.
4. Wild And Tragic Story
…We carried on a secret affair for months. He would beg me not to tell anyone because he’d lose his female fiance and his job with the ministry. By August, I was near suicide and decided to leave on my own.
He followed me, convinced me to travel across the country with him so that he could fulfill some sexual fantasies – think, nude oil wrestling in a motel in Tucumcari, NM – and then dumped me outside Memphis, telling me that God could never bless us being together. It was all insane. It took me years and years to mostly get over it. Conversion therapy is evil.
All because people are told they cannot be a good person if they are gay. Stories like this should make you question “conversion therapy.”
3. The Psychological Damage Can Happen Fast
Well, at a very young age my Dad got a ‘counsellor’ to talk to me about being a man, because I played with a baby doll as a child. It didn’t last long, but it screwed me up pretty bad.
Took me 11 years to come out of the closet, and my dad didn’t know for 5 more.
2. Some Should Realize Children Aren’t Property
I have a friend whose parents sent him to a doctor back in India to “convert” him. To prove it was successful, he had to sleep with a woman. He popped a viagra and did the deed.
He agreed to do it so he wouldn’t lose inheritance worth millions of dollars. Of course, the “therapy” didn’t work.
1. This Isn’t Surprising
Intake therapist here at a community mental health agency. I see about 4 new clients every day, and have heard more than one story about gay conversion therapy…and it’s never been referenced with a positive (or even neutral) light. And it’s usually a factor in why they’re coming back in for service.
If you managed to get through reading that without tearing up or shaking your head at least once, then you might want to check to see if your heart is still beating. Sadly, there is a large percentage of Americans who will defend “conversion therapy” and fight for it to remain legal. Fortunately, it seems a majority of Americans believe these “treatments” should be made illegal at a federal level.
While Americans have become more accepting in recent decades, work still needs to be done in order to protect children from certain psychological damage. Under no circumstances should a child be forced to attend “conversion therapy.”