The California state legislature is considering a bill that would ban “ex-gay reparative therapy” for those under 18. In addition, adults who willingly choose the therapy would have to sign a form admitting that conversion therapy doesn’t work and is possibly harmful.
The bill’s writer and sponsor, state Sen. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance), tells the AP that conversion “dangerous,” adding that it can “cause extreme depression and guilt.”
Doesn’t it always take a politician to state the obvious? We’d say the whole damned basis of conversion therapy is self-hate. Cement it over with a coat of self-loathing, then finish with a nice gloss of hetero-supremacy, and you’ve up and prayed the gay away!
But, of course, an article on such a ban would not be complete with an idiotic quote from a psychiatrist who stopped reading the DSM IV in 1969. Enter David Pickup!
“Any therapist worth his salt knows that homosexual feelings commonly occur in victims as a result of abuses,” says Pickup. “I ought to know because I was one of those boys.”
Whether Pickup has been successfully converted to straight feelings is unclear, or if he’s just a little bi sometimes (but only because of abuse). In all seriousness, sure, child molestation can severely damage a child. But it doesn’t always make them gay, and there are plenty of people who are gay without any childhood trauma (and are happy to stay that way).
And let us be reminded of the dangers of conversion therapy:
Peter Drake, 55, testified Tuesday that he sought out conversion therapy in an effort to save his 20-year marriage, and the years of trying to change himself nearly drove him to suicide.
“I am left-handed and I am gay,” he said. “I could learn to write with my other hand, but that is not who I am.”
The alternative is clear: self-acceptance, and maybe just a healthy dose of Pride. We’ve seen plenty of very healthy (almost too healthy) dudes at those Parades.