queerty interviews

LISTEN: Patrick Strudwick Exposed the Tricks of Ex-Gay Therapy. Now He’s Really Going After Them

Patrick Strudwick is the investigative journalist who posed as a patient hoping to become a heterosexual by turning to conversion therapists. Then he wrote it all up in an expose. But Strudwick isn’t stopping there. His just-formed group Stop Conversion Therapy Taskforce (SCOTT), which has nearly 3,000 Facebook members, is planning its first demonstration on Friday in Belfast, Ireland, at the Setting Love in Order Conference. Queerty‘s David Hauslaib spoke with Strudwick in London today to learn more about the charade of conversion therapy, and how merely pretending to be a patient affected Strudwick’s own thinking about his sexuality.

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  • Brian En Guarde

    The bad thing is not the homosexuality, it is the shame. This brainwashing perpetuates the shame, forever delaying health. Great interview, great cause.

  • dontblamemeivotedforhillary

    There’s a Russian arms dealer he can Google!

  • Lukas P.

    The “ex-gay” therapy people hide behind “studies” that they have to pay to publish, because no peer-reviewed, professional journal will publish them.

    They are NOT above lobbying academic institutions to fire/demote/ not hire anyone (staff or faculty) who disagrees with their ill-founded methodology of clinical practice and research. They often hide the religious inspiration for their work, and have successfully managed to get some real researchers to “quiet down.” [my word, not theirs]

    They will resort to slander and dig up “scandals” associated with people who disagree with them and who dare question their “results.”

    Mr Strudwick is to be commended for keeping the heat on these groups.

  • mucklucky777

    Joined his group on FaceBook. I think pointing fingers at these folks (as being afraid of their homosexuality) is overly generous, and really not the point.

    These folks are deeply afraid, period. They’re so afraid of powerful women, ‘soft’ men. etc.

    The point is to rip away their fakery and deceit. Do it quickly. Do it efficiently. Do it now.

    They’re dinosaurs. Let’s show them their time is over.

  • Lukas P.

    BAD Science with BAD Results: The reparative therapy folks’ program seems highly focused on gender roles: what’s appropriate behavior/thinking /clothing [!] for a man versus a woman. It also is huge on blaming moms and dads for the eventual sexual orientation of their kids.

    They confuse gender confusion with gayness/lesbianism. They also dredge up pseudo-memories of ‘inappropriate’ sexual attention from older members of the same gender. To be “healed” you have to realize you were wounded by Mom and Dad, and probably unmarried Uncle Elroy or bachelorette Auntie Mildred.
    Or sexy neighbor Pat.

    All that goes back to the unscientific psych crap that from the1950s if not earlier, and has been thoroughly discredited as “causing” the sinful malady that is ho-mo-sex-U-al-ity.

    Realize that large swaths of the fundies buy into this because their whole world view is based on the belief that our innate sexual orientation is straight, and that any deviation from that comes from bad influences. AND, Satan too.

    The reason this is such SCARY stuff is that people who fail at the treatment are left to believe they’re irreparably damaged, sinful and hopelessly lost. Or, they temporarily manage to suppress the GAY and then screw up their spouse +and+ offspring in the process.

    False hope leads to destructive and self-destructive behavior. Instead of one person’s life being thrown under the Holy Bus, you end up with whole families.

    Who in their right mind can promote and support THAT?

    Talk about family values!

  • Andrew

    Great post – highlights fundamental flaws of “reparative therapy” in its application. Interestingly (and what makes it so scary), the investigative reporter points to why this invalid form of therapy can cause so much damage: To a large degree we are what we think. i.e., our life, our world, our relationships, our pursuits, arise through the “lens” we view the world through. If we have a poverty attitude, we expect poverty and foster elements of poverty in our life. If we have an illness focus, we will expect illness and hinder health. We form assessments of our world and make choices (in action, in words, in emotions) through those assessments. So…. as the reporter pointed to, he noticed that the “therapist’s” comments started popping up in his thoughts outside sessions. Perhaps in the form of wonder or doubt or anxiety, etc. This is why this stuff should be outlawed — it is not based upon medical/psych science and it has the potential to really mess with people’s minds. The people who have gone through this “therapy” need to be “de-programmed” and treated with care/concern as though they were in a cult for years. This stuff is a cult. It’s just wrapped in psychological rhetoric. Sad.

  • Jaroslaw

    I’d like to say something really deep here about the lack of integrity and great amounts of dishonesty overall in the world – but I guess I’ll just relate a quick story.

    Jeffrey Satinover MD wrote a book called “Homosexuality and the politics of truth.” I read it a number of years ago when I was searching for answers. He starts out being very compassionate, him being a doctor and all; and ends up parroting all the other conservative Christian religions. In the middle he deliberately uses misleading “factoids” from Gay books etc. but the part that really got me was his explanation of how “Gay militants” hijacked the APA to get homosexuality off the list of mental illnesses!

    Some mental health professionals went to a convention in 1972 or thereabouts and “testified” while wearing masks (to which I say “of course! they didn’t want to just toss their livelihoods in the trash!”) and he also discusses a letter that was sent to all members to influence an upcoming vote. I myself have been involved in politics and been on lots of committees – nothing occurred that was sinister as portrayed by Dr. Satinover. In a nutshell, the pro-Gay doctors used accepted methods to promote their point of view and they prevailed. Conservatives always imply something dark and devious has occurred when they lose.

    Bottom line, what irks me to no end is how naive the public is (and lazy too) they never bother to try to find out BOTH sides.

    I really can appreciate the work this reporter has put in on this issue. And I’m sure he’s getting a lot of negative repercussions & pressure too.

  • Dr. Jallen Rix

    Good for you Patrick. As an Ex-gay survivor myself, we need to get all our voices out there telling our stories and showing that these damaging organizations are not only harming people, but they are doing it ultimately in the name of Jesus. And they are so far from the unconditional love of God. I’m on the edge of having my story published by Findhorn Press. It is the telling of my life, surviving the ex-gay world, religious abuse and recovery from it all. Click on my name if you’d like to learn more about. I’m in the US – you go Patrick in the UK!

  • Taylor Siluwé

    We always knew ex-Gay therapy was dangerous to the individual. We knew it screwed with the mind. But with the realization that American evangelicals are spreading this twisted ideology to the world, lighting little heal-thyself-or-else fires along the way, the purveyors of this shame ‘therapy’ need to be in all of our cross-hairs.

  • D Smith

    @5 actually, the fundies views are pretty much a reprinting of Freudian concepts that have been thoroughly debunked by the psychological community since the the 40’s (Freud offered up his misogynistic and homophobic views in the 20’s) the APA (American Psychological Association) has issued many many statements denouncing this kind of rubbish and the fact that they pay to gain access to “peer review” journals is a joke that no educated person in the psychological community takes seriously.

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