What do you know about conversion therapy?
Many of us have a generalized understanding of conversion therapy and how it has negatively impacted members of the LGBTQ community, but, unfortunately, it is still happening to thousands of kids nationwide. Conversion therapy is practiced right here in Connecticut. So, what should we know about this decried practice, and how do we stop it?
Here are the 4 most important facts about conversion therapy:
#1 : Conversion therapy is a term that refers to a range of practices that seek to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. This practice dates back to the early Freudian period when homosexuality was considered pathological.
Practitioners of conversion therapy exist today in the medical industry, but they also exist through what are known as "ex-gay ministries” that offer spiritual counseling services, and gay Christian conversion camps.
#2 : The nation’s top leading medical, mental health, and human services professional organizations do not recognize conversion therapy as a legitimate therapy and have condemned the practice.
The Just the Facts coalition, which includes organizations like the American Psychological Association, published a report that compiled the advice of education, health, mental health, and religious organizations on the impact of conversion therapy on LGBTQ youth.
The American Psychological Association stated they “oppose portrayals of [LGBTQ] youth and adults as mentally ill due to their sexual orientation.”
The American Psychiatric Association stated “anecdotal reports of “cures” are counterbalanced by anecdotal claims of psychological harm. In the last four decades, “reparative” therapists have not produced any rigorous scientific research to substantiate their claims of cure.”
Further, they said “the potential risks of reparative therapy are great, including depression, anxiety and self-destructive behavior, since therapist alignment with societal prejudices against homosexuality may reinforce self-hatred already experienced by the patient.”
Read more statements in that report here.
#3 : Conversion therapy is happening here in Connecticut, and you can stop it. Connect with us and CT Equality to ban conversion therapy in Connecticut. For good.
#4 : Similar to our community’s fight for marriage equality, this is a movement currently gaining momentum on the state level. While it can be difficult through a state-level bans to ensure that no form of conversion therapy is practiced, it is important to keep in mind the history of the marriage equality movement, which started state by state until the opinion of the American public shifted- and on June 26, 2015, marriage equality was achieved on a federal level. This is our hope for our future and for LGBTQ youth.
Your support of the Connecticut ban will give strength and energy to this movement to protect LGBTQ youth across the country.
Read more here to take action.