Tag Archives: Conversion Therapy

Activist Organization Aims to Ban Conversion Therapy in All 50 States

Disney villain and Vice President-Elect Mike Pence has voiced his support for conversion therapy, leading many LGBT people to fear for their mental wellbeing.

Conversion therapy, which has been likened to torture, employs painful and psychologically crippling techniques in order to “change” the sexual orientation of lesbian, gay and bisexual teenagers. “Therapists” induce vomiting and paralysis in patients while showing homoerotic images, force patients to snap themselves with elastic whenever they have a homosexual thought, electrically shock patients, teach patients how to act stereotypically masculine or feminine, employ “orgasmic reconditioning,” and even hypnotize patients.

Conversion therapy has been linked to higher rates of depression, anxiety, drug addiction, suicide and homelessness in youth.

The grassroots coalition 50 Bills 50 States aims to pass legislation banning conversion therapy in all 50 states. The therapy is already banned in five states: California, Illinois, Oregon, Vermont and New Jersey.

Samuel Brinton, a conversion therapy survivor and founder of the coalition, says,

We are going to work with legislators to introduce bills banning these brutal practices. We know every state won’t pass these bills in 2017 but the unanimity of submitting them will resonate from coast to coast.”

They’ve raised over $11,000 to build an educational website, shoot a video about conversion therapy and LGBT youth, print legislation materials, travel to forty-five states to submit bills in person, and provide mental health resources to conversion therapy survivors.

The group also hopes to partner with LGBT rights organizations in every state in order to learn about the work that has already been done on the ground and to meet with legislators who may be sympathetic to the cause.

Samuel Brinton is not new to activism. Since he was subjected to the poisonous “therapy,” he has been visiting colleges and universities across America in order to discuss traumatic homophobic practices and teach students how to pass legislation at a state level. His personal motto is, “You can’t change what I never chose.”

50 Bills 50 States is in need of website developers, press release writers, legal experts, and church and school liaisons. If you’d like to volunteer, check out their website.

Chloe Moretz Tackles The Unfortunately Relevant Topic Of Gay Conversion Therapy In New Film

Chloe Moretz will take the lead role in new film The Miseducation of Cameron Post, the story of a young woman forced into a gay conversion therapy centre when she’s caught with another woman.

The story, based on the controversial coming-of-age novel by Emily Danforth, follows 12-year-old orphan Cameron Post (Moretz) who is sent to live with her ultra-conservative aunt after her parents die in a crash.

She starts a relationship with her best friend, the prom queen, which leads Cameron’s aunt to send her to a “de-gaying camp,” where she becomes friends with a fellow resident, played by American Honey‘s Sasha Lane.

Desiree Akhavan, who wrote, directed and starred in the Sundance pic Appropriate Behavior, has come aboard to direct. She also adapted the screenplay with Cecilia Frugiuele.

Moretz has spoken out on several occasions about gay rights, most specifically about the bullying suffered by her gay brothers Trevor and Colin during high school

No one should care what your sexual orientation is, what color your skin is or if you’re a man or a woman. It was really hard to see my brothers be hated on or bullied, so I stood up for them.”

The Miseducation of Cameron Post is set in ’93, yet the issue of gay conversion therapy is still a contentious one in today’s America, given Vice President elect Mike Pence’s previous support of gay cure therapy.

Conversion therapy in the past has involved therapists using electric shock treatments, inducing nausea and using shame to create aversion to same-sex attraction. The therapy can also stretch to gender, as therapists attempt to establish more masculine or feminine traits in their subjects.

Foster Parents Force Lesbian Foster Child to ‘Ex-Gay’ Conversion Therapy (Video)

In an interview with HuffPost Live this week, FosterClub member Emily Brunelle recalled how living with foster parents in lieu of her biological family prompted her to end up in “reparative,” or “ex-gay,” therapy.

Brunelle, who grew up in Casper, Wyoming, recalled.

I had some great foster parents, but the struggle had always been that I was in a religious family that was accepting of me for the most part, but I didn’t feel like I could ever safely come out as a lesbian. It was very clear to me where they stood on that.”

Brunelle, whose biological mother identifies as transgender, said the experience

really left me in a place of wondering how do I be myself safely and get to love the person that I want to love, or the people that I want to love, and still have the family and support that I need to survive?”

FosterClub is an advocacy organisation aimed at keeping young people in foster care “connected, educated, inspired and represented so they can realise their personal potential and contribute to a better life for their peers.”

White House Staffers Show Support For Ban on Conversion Therapy in Powerful Video

Last week US President Barack Obama issued a statement calling for an end of the use of conversion therapy for LGBTI minors. Now, six White House staffers – some straight, some LGBT – are also calling for an end to the dangerous, widely debunked practice of conversion therapy.

The video, which was posted by The White House on YouTube, features Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to the President; Jay Davis, Advisor for Digital Strategy and Engagement, Environmental Protection Agency; Yohannes Abraham, Special Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff for the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs; Amanda Simpson, Executive Director, Army Office of Energy Initiatives; Megan Smith, Chief Technology Officer of the United States; and Douglas Brooks, Director of the Office of National AIDS Policy.

Conversion therapy can be called many things – we used to call things like this “brainwashing” or “reprogramming.” It’s all about making people conform to the way things are. But if society is to grow, we need to move beyond the way things are, to the way things should be – the way things ought to be.”

In response to an online petition calling for a ban on conversion therapies, which had gained over 120,000 signatures in three months, Obama said in a statement urging states to ban therapies that attempt to change the sexual orientation of gay, lesbian and transgender youth.

Although the petition called on Obama to support a federal ban, the president has said he’ll instead call for state action.

The petition was inspired by Leelah Alcorn, a 17-year-old transgender youth who committed suicide in December after attending conversion therapy.

Mental health groups and gay rights activists say such therapy can increase the risk of depression or suicide.

US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy on Friday during a town hall discussion on Tumblr also weighed in, opposing conversion therapy.

Conversion therapy is not sound medical practice. Moreover, we all need to work together to build greater understanding and acceptance throughout our society. Doctors can and should be part of that effort.”

The US states of California and New Jersey have banned the practices targeting LGBTI youths whilreother states such as Oklahoma are considering legislation to protect the therapies from legal challenges.

We Went To Gay Conversion Therapy Camp

Powerful documentary from Vice that needs to be watched.

Conversion therapy is the practice of “curing” gay people by trying to turn them straight through counselling and lifestyle restrictions. The practice dates back to the early Freudian period, when homosexuality was considered pathological and attempts to treat it were deemed appropriate. Today, however, homosexuality has been removed from the American Psychiatric Association’s list of mental disorders, and conversion therapy is considered ineffective, harmful, and potentially deadly.

Regardless of a nationwide battle toward the acceptance of same­-sex marriage and equal rights for gay people, conversion therapy is still a problem, and it’s being practiced every single day in the United States and throughout the world.

Also: Did Gay Conversion Therapy Work For This Couple? Meet The McCardles

In this special report, VICE gets exclusive access to one of the hundreds of gay-conversion-therapy organisations, groups, and sessions in the United States. At the Journey into Manhood program, men pay more than $600 to attend a weekend retreat where they participate in exercises and activities the staff members claim will help them battle their same-sex ­orientation. The only qualification to become a staff member is to have successfully completed the program.

The report meets with the founder of reparative therapy, Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, who is illegally practicing on minors in the State of California, and investigates the controversial legal battle to fight conversion therapy for individuals under 18 years of age. We also travel to the annual Gay Christian Network Conference, speak with former “ex-gay” leaders including John Smid of Love in Action, who is now married to his gay partner, and hear the grueling stories of the individuals who have survived this brutal practice.

Watch the full documentary here.