Ex-gay activist Richard A. Cohen is taking his show on the road. The Coming Out Straight: Understanding and Healing Homosexuality author is scheduled to speak at a large conference in Mexico on February 12. Admission is $350. Now, an online petition at change.org is demanding the organization sponsoring Cohen’s visit cancel the event.
According to Wikipedia, Cohen once identified as gay, but now claims extensive psychotherapy allowed him to overcome his homosexuality and transition into being heterosexual. He now lives with his wife and three children in Washington, D.C.
Cohen received a Master’s degree in a psychology from Antioch University. In 1990, he founded the International Healing Foundation, a tax-exempt organization dedicated to treating people who suffer from unwanted same-sex attraction. In 2002, he was permanently expelled from the American Counseling Association after violating its ethics code.
So far, the petition has gathered over 10,000 signatures. They hope to gather 15,000 before Cohen’s February 12 appearance.
i hate these guys more than the christian a-holes that force their religion down our throats. these people HARM themselves and other people. the only reason a person has “unwanted same-sex attraction” is bc of how they are being treated by their family or the society they live in. they need counseling on how to deal with these negative factors in their lives not the harmful regression and suppression of what makes them who they are.
and then these a-holes come along and say look at me! i “was” gay (impossible) and im marry to a woman and i love straight sex so much ive got three kids! betcha a million dollars they were never fully gay and only bisexual.
Homosexuality is a sin
@RainboWarrioR: I don’t think most Christians want to force their religion down your throat. I think they’re concerned for you because your lifestyle has been proven definitively to be one of the most unhealthy in the world.
@Homosexuality is a sin: Seriously dude? Where is this irrefutable proof that being gay is unhealthy? It may be considered the most discriminated against lifestyle but it is only unhealthy because of people like you who want gays to hate themselves.
long ago i wanted therapy to help me get over being gay. that in itself is sad b/c nobody can really ever get over being gay. there is no cure. but i had hope. if therapy offers hope, and a journey of self discovery, even though the outcome will always, inevitably not be achieved, the journey may be the most significant part (not the outcome). so ppl who fight these “therapists” should get off their high anti-intellectual horses and leave well enough alone. who are they to prescribe or prohibit MY therapy? if i want it, i should be able to get it. You do not decide that for me, i decide it for myself. so, please back off.
One can change their sexuality just as easily as they can change the color of their skin I.E. impossible irrational impossible and illogical.
@jonjct: And yet, for many others, it devastates them. Not to mention, the type of “therapy” you describe isn’t even considered therapy by professional standards.
If you want therapy, go get therapy. Why the need to push ex-gay torture which isn’t therapy?
@jonjct: Getting over being gay? First that would mean that you bought the line that it’s inherently bad. This has less to do with you and more about pleasing others. I’m an atheist and I live and think for myself which means I don’t have these conflicts in life.
@MK Ultra: Ever notice that they never call themselves straight which is what you would be if you were “cured”. It’s always “Ex Gay”.
They use these buzz words so people can believe the BS. It’s also another way to attack the gay community as something that needs to be fixed and thus deserves no protections. It’s no coincidence that the backers of these groups also have 100% animus towards the gay community.
and people wonder why I hate Christians so much
@jonjct: I don’t mean to be rude to you. I just hate sh**heads like this and others who profit and prey upon people such as yourself who just want to fit in or believe their going to hell if they don’t do as their told.
I feel sorry for the dude. Sad.
As a wannabe Mexican all I want to say is, Richard A. Cohen is a pendejo.
It sounds like jonjct had a positive experience with his “therapy” even though it didn’t turn him straight. But it isn’t positive for most people for precisely the reason he gives — that “the outcome will always, inevitably not be achieved.” Instead of it being a “journey of self-discovery,” the frustration of not being able to change leads to depression and even suicide.
That’s why some states are moving to ban the practice, and particularly to prevent parents from forcing vulnerable teenagers into these programs. Some of the programs are highly unethical, run by supposed ex-gays who get their jollies with “cuddle therapy” and urging gay men to “touch their manhood.” These are not acceptable forms of therapy.
The problem with disputing the claims they make is that all we really have is self-reporting — that is, a gay person like Cohen is “cured” because he SAYS he’s cured. Until you catch him in a gay bar (which has happened) or he’s reported by some wannabe ex-gay who is exploited for sex by his “therapist,” they can make any claims they want. But they’re ALL lies, and they distort the data so they can claim success.
We had to laugh when they promoted their rally on the Capitol steps and expected thousands of ex-gays to show up. The problem is, they don’t exist by the thousands, and exactly seven showed up. The reporters outnumbered the “ex-gays.”
^ somebody in the above comments feels sorry for me? thank you, but, don’t. i went on, as a gay man, to practice bi-sexuality, got married, had a baby, and now would still like to NOT be gay, but i’ve given into it. i understand what ppl are talking about here but there is something the therapists call ego-dystonic homosexuality, meaning you are gay by nature, but it is not the essential you. i’m gay, but i don’t have to like it. and, i don’t. this is more a comment on straight is good and not gay is bad. don’t get me wrong brothers, gay isn’t bad, just that i don’t want to be gay.
And remember there are several Richard Cohens in the world. This batshit-crazy conversion-therapy supporter is NOT the man married to Meredith Vieira, nor is he the Richard Cohen who is a Washington Post columnist.
@jonjct: I don’t think anyone here has said that they feel sorry for you. Calling out the lies and BS is all I see.
If you’re truly gay as you say you are then I hope she knows that you’ll never be truly attracted to her and she’s nothing but a substitute for what you really crave. If she does then fine. If not then you’re being incredibly selfish.
@Stache1, in case you can’t tell from the dripping emotional testimony above, full disclosure is the name of the game for me. we were friends that grew into marriage. she knew all along, and … i’m so fabulous that then i asked her to get married she said yes. my lucky day. but your point is taken. and it’s a good one.
Christianity is A mental illness.
@Homosexuality is a sin: My people, Jews, have spent the last 2000 years trying to survive Christian concern for our sinful lifestyle. As a gay man, I don’t need any more Christian concern for my well-being. I need you to get your arrogant, judgmental, self-righteous noses out of my life.
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