In the early s, when I was a middle schooler in Florida, I was subjected to a trauma that was meant to erase my existence as a newly out bisexual. For over two years, I sat on a couch and endured emotionally painful sessions with a counselor. I was told that my faith community rejected my sexuality; that I was the abomination we had heard about in Sunday school; that I was the only gay person in the world; that it was inevitable I would get H.
Such practices have been rejected by every mainstream medical and mental health organization for decades, but due to continuing discrimination and societal bias against LGBTQ people, some practitioners continue to conduct conversion therapy. Minors are especially vulnerable, and conversion therapy can lead to depression, anxiety, drug use, homelessness, and suicide. Seven of these state laws were enacted under Republican governors.
A therapy that claims to convert gay people into heterosexuals is being tested in court with two new cases, one of which seeks to sue counselors offering the therapy and the other seeking to defend them. Gay conversion therapyas it is known, supposedly helps gay people overcome same-sex attractions. But mainstream psychologists say the therapy is ineffective, unethical and often harmful, exacerbating anxiety and self-hatred among those treated for what is not a mental disorder.
Conversion therapy is the pseudoscientific practice of trying to change an individual's sexual orientation from homosexual or bisexual to heterosexual using psychological or spiritual interventions. There is virtually no reliable evidence that sexual orientation can be changed and medical bodies warn that conversion therapy practices are ineffective and potentially harmful. The highest-profile advocates of conversion therapy today tend to be fundamentalist Christian groups and other organizations which use a religious justification for the therapy rather than speaking of homosexuality as "a disease". More recent clinical techniques used in the United States have been limited to counseling, visualization, social skills training, psychoanalytic therapyand spiritual interventions such as "prayer and group support and pressure",  though there are some reports of aversive treatments through unlicensed practice as late as the s.
With the recent announcement from Exodus International that it is closing its doors, and with its leaders offering apologies for their actions, the LGBT community is now left wondering, "Can this really be the end of ex-gay reparative therapy? Is it really over? Before the American Psychiatric Association APA declassified homosexuality as a mental disorder inaversion therapy was used routinely in hopes that it would prevent or eliminate homosexual behavior.
A British survey published last month found that one in 25 therapists would assist gay and bisexual patients attempting to convert to heterosexuality. That's despite the fact that many medical groups, including the American Medical Association, have for years condemned such practices, saying they don't work and can actually cause harm. It may not be surprising that Christian Coalition founder Pat Robertson and televangelist pastor Jerry Falwell, among many others, have supported programs designed to convert homosexuals away from "sin" and into the arms of God-fearing heterosexuality.
A blond boy confiscated the journal and yanked a bunch of pages free from the binding. Detecting and destroying FIs was how you got the gay out. He was 19 when he entered LIA for a two-week evaluation.
Sexual orientation change efforts SOCE are methods used in attempts to change the sexual orientation of homosexual and bisexual people to heterosexuality. According to the American Psychiatric Association Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation, "there are no studies of adequate scientific rigor to conclude whether or not such methods work to change sexual orientation. The longstanding consensus of the behavioral and social sciences, and the health and mental health professions is that homosexuality and bisexuality are per se normal and positive variations of human sexual orientation.
Ina German psychiatrist electrified the audience at a conference on hypnosis with a bold claim: He had turned a gay man straight. Homosexuality, especially same-sex relationships between men, was considered deviant, sinful and even criminal for centuries. In the late 19th century, psychiatrists and doctors began to address homosexuality, too. They labeled same-sex desire in medical terms—and started looking for ways to reverse it.