Annice Cecil "Conversion Therapy Hurts in More Ways Than One"

Conversion Therapy Hurts in More Ways Than One

LGBT+ children are forced to go through conversion therapy but why? What does it do to the child? Is it Constitutionally correct?

Dear President-Elect Trump,

Conversion therapy also known as repetitive or aversion therapy. They are practices that are used to try to change a person's sexual orientation. This is done through methods of using electroshock therapy and vomit inducing chemical compounds while making a person watch pictures of the same sex. This then makes the brain associate same sex attractions with pain. They also try to make a person hate oneself until they are desperate to become straight. This leads to many LGBT+ children committing suicide or having suicidal thoughts. A survey in San Francisco showed that LGBT+ youth that have been rejected or put through conversion therapy are eight times more likely to attempt suicide. Also going through this process is usually not a choice but on behalf of uniformed parents looking for help for their LGBT+ child. The places that use these practices are not usually licensed and are people who are based on their religious or personal beliefs.

This was the case for Sam Briton who was forced to go through conversion therapy after the realization that he had a crush on his best friend who was of the same sex. He was rejected at church, told he was sick, and that God hated him. They convinced him that all other gays had been executed, he had contracted AIDS, the government was looking for him, and that he would die alone. But this was only the mental abuse that he went through he also went through physical abuse. He was shone pictures of the same sex, while his hands were tied down with ice, copper heating coils, needles, and electric shocks applied to them. This made him associate a man's touch with pain making even hugging his father a trying process. In the time that he went through this process he went through several attempted suicides and at one point when about to jump from a roof decided that he would rather lie and say he had become straight than die a death like this. He got through the process, and once he got to college was finally able to express himself freely in any way he pleased.

This was all caused by the belief that LGBT+ are sick and that they are being punished by god. The worst part about this happening to LGBT+ youth is that it is entirely preventable, through the informing of parents on what this does to their child. Not to mention the catastrophic effects on the child's mental state for many years or even their entire lifetime. LGBT+ that have gone through this process have reported depression, anxiety, self hatred, isolation, and vivid unwanted flashbacks. These symptoms can occur at any given time affecting the way the child learns, socially interacts, and their physical abilities. Many organizations look down upon this practice for this reason, such as the American Physiological Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

On a political standpoint many states have tried to eliminate and make the process banned for children under the age of 18. Some states have made it illegal to be practiced upon minors such as California, New Jersey and Washington D.C. Other states such as Arizona, Vermont, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Minnesota Nevada, Illinois, New York, Florida, Ohio, Rhode Island, Oregon Pennsylvania, and Texas have began to try to eliminate the process. There is also controversy on the problem constitutionally. Many argue that this kind of therapy applies to the eighth amendment which prohibits cruel and unusual punishment. This amendment applies in the perspective of that the methods of therapy used (electroshock therapy/Vomit inducing compounds) could be thought of as torture which is outlined as cruel in this amendment. These methods are also quite unusual in the sense of convincing the patient that they are sick.

On the contrast this is a belief in certain religions and could also be protected by the first amendment which states that all citizens have freedom of religion. But, when does that freedom stop is it right to let people hurt others because of their beliefs?

Recently the soon to be vice president Mike Pence has been accused of supporting this practice. While his media team has rejected these claims, many are still suspicious and wonder what the future of this issue will be. Now Mr. President I ask you what are you going to do? For this can be stopped so that more innocent child lives are not lost, through bans on such facilities using these practice, and making laws to the rights of children to not have to go through this process without wanting to. We need to find ways to protect child rights, and the pain conversion therapy causes. Will you take this call to action? This matter is now in your hands.


Annice Cecil