Psycho-therapist and Voice of the Voiceless president Chris Doyle (pictured) has announced that he conducted a secret undercover investigation last month to see if Virginia’s public universities were providing adequate information on ways to become “ex-gay.”
Detective Doyle visited seven of the state’s 15 public universities posing as an emotionally tormented graduate student seeking information on becoming “ex-gay.”
One of the places he went was the LGBT counseling center at George Mason University in Fairfax.
“Our investigation was an effort to see what a student would experience if they were to go into this office and speak to a counselor, Ric Chollar, who is the director there, and I did that,” Doyle said.
In a press release, he claims when he met with Chollar he practically had to “beg” for a pamphlet of information about how to become “ex-gay.”
“[Chollar] told me that if I sought therapy to change, I would likely become psychologically-damaged, depressed and even commit suicide,” Doyle said afterwards. “That is absolutely and scientifically inaccurate.”
Chollar, however, has a different version of the story. “As soon as someone asks me for information about ["ex-gay"] groups, I tell them we have the information and if they would like some, I’ll get that for them… I have [the brochures] sitting in my file drawer,” he told the university’s newspaper.
He continued: “What groups like [Voice of the Voiceless] are asking, in fact demanding, is that written information like brochures be displayed publicly. I will admit that is not what we do. However, he also says that he had to aggressively ask over and over again. That is just not my memory at all.”
At another university he visited, Doyle claims the the LGBT resource center staff said being gay was “natural” and that any therapy claiming to help individuals change their sexual orientation is “not valid.” Doyle says they even went so far as to likening conversion therapy to “brain washing,” which he took offense to, calling it “a deliberate withholding of potentially life-saving information for students who may desire counseling to overcome unwanted homosexual feelings.”
Potentially life-saving? But we thought that was “absolutely and scientifically inaccurate.”
Despite the fact that the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, the National Association of Social Workers, and the World Health Organization all advise against reparative therapy, Doyle still feels public universities are in the wrong for not offering better information on how to become “ex-gay.” He’s now calling for LGBT counselors to undergo sensitivity training and professional development to be made better aware of how to treat those who want to change sexual orientations.
“The fact that these centers are being funded by state dollars is completely outrageous,” he said. “Every tax-paying citizen in Virginia should be outraged!”
So far it seems like the only person who is outraged is Doyle.
Photo credit: Advocate.