California Bans Gay Conversion Therapy for Teens
October 23, 2012
Last month California’s Governor, Jerry Brown, signed a bill that bans the use of reparative or conversation therapies on anyone under the age of 18. Conversion therapy is a pseudo-scientific therapy that attempts to change a person’s sexual orientation from gay or lesbian to heterosexual.
Growing up on the east coast in a pretty liberal town, I had never heard of conversion therapy aside from a reference to it in an episode of South Park, so it surprised me when I learned that some licensed mental health professionals across the country actually recommend it to many parents who are concerned about their children’s sexual orientation.
For a moment, try to imagine feeling unsure about your sexual orientation. Finally, after months of stress and confusion, you work up the courage to go to your parents for guidance, but instead of supporting who you feel you are they send you to a therapist who then tells you that you can be cured. Maybe this sounds unbelievable, yet hundreds of teens across the United States experience this and are taught to think that what they feel is wrong and must be changed.
Your sexual orientation is not a disease. It is part of who you are, and it is something that should be accepted and embraced. If the idea of conversion therapy outrages you and you think it should be banned in your state, then you may want to get the word out and lobby your state officials. No one should ever feel that their sexual orientation and who they are is something that needs to be “cured.”