Heather C. Virginia

Straight Conversion Therapy

My issue is straight conversion therapy.

Dear Future President,

         My entire class is writing to you about a variety of issues, all just as important as the one just before it. The one issue that is just slightly more important to me than the rest of these hundreds of issues is banning conversion therapy for minors in all fifty states. It is a cruel, unnatural practice that parents pressure their children into, and it should be banned, or made into a law of sending your children to these camps will count as child abuse.

       Straight conversion therapy hurts so many people, in ways you couldn't even imagine. These people are trying to change the children they claim to love, by not accepting them. Putting these children through this cruel practice where physical harm is allowed should in the name of 'truly making them children of god,' should count as abuse and/or child neglect. The reason I say that it counts as abuse is the fact that they are sending their child to a camp where they are allowed to put chemicals in their, or under, their nose to make it burn whenever they have thoughts about someone of the same sex as them. They put devices on them to make them keep their eyes open while they watch films to 'make them straight,' which is a horrible thing to do to children, let alone your own child. Those are just the physical aspects of what they do to these children, which doesn't even begin to touch on what they do to them mentally. 

      Children sent to these camps are taught to completely hate themselves, and to completely abandon who they are. After that 'phase' is over, they start to reform them into their ideal of a person. This completely destroys someone, and you can never recover from the mental scarring that occurs from these camps.

      The awe-striking truth is that putting children in these straight conversion camps is technically putting their lives at risk, since three out of every four teenagers that attend these camps end up killing themselves within two weeks, which is a startling 75%. Only five states have this practice banned, which is an outrage. Quite frankly, states that let their citizens send their children to these camps are enablers to child abuse.

     A way to solve this terrible issue is by banning it in all fifty states. Children shouldn't have to be afraid of coming out to their parents in fear that they might be sent away because their parents can't handle having a gay child in their home, and putting them through abuse to make them 'lovable' in their eyes.

Thank you,

Heather C.

Smithfield High School

SHS AP Lang Blocks 1 & 2

Smithfield High School, AP Language and Composition, 11th grade

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