When, oh when is this utter bullshit going to die? No, no, no, no, there’s no such thing as ex-gay. You are what you are, and while people everywhere have their own ways of dealing with who they are, this ex-gay business is not only toxic, it causes a great deal of harm, and way too many deaths lay at the door of this religiously fueled poison. This is yet another vehicle for hatred, fear, and bigotry. Instilling a sense of worthlessness in people is not a good. Telling people that they cannot live at all unless they are in the confines of a religiously defined prison is not a good. Telling people they deserve hatred, bigotry, and bullying is not a good. These so-called therapies are torture, a torture which often leads to suicide. Very young people are often the target of such programs. As with most of these programs, this one teaches that all queerness comes from a traumatic event in a person’s life, promoting the lie that gay people are predators.
Groups are still pushing “conversion” or “ex-gay” therapy — which attempts to turn LGBT people straight or cisgender — and pouring money into promoting the dangerous practice.
The latest billboard appeared this week in Waco, Tex., according to the Houston Chronicle. “Ex-Gays prove change is possible,” the billboard reads, with a beaming man’s face appearing next to the words.
Numerous mental health groups have condemned “conversion therapy,” including the American Psychological Association, and warned it can contribute to depression, anxiety, drug abuse, homelessness, and suicidal ideation. California, Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon, and Vermont have all made it illegal for minors to be exposed to the fradulent practice.
The Waco billboard was not greeted warmly by everyone in the conservative central Texas city. Charley Garrison, a minister of the LGBT-affirming Central Texas Metropolitan Community Church, vowed to hold a Pride event at the site of the sign. Others have countered “ex-gay” billboards by erecting affirming signs challenging the message of “ex-gay” supporters.
If you’re in the area where this is happening, try and join up for any Pride event held, let people know this is a horror happening in too many lives, preaching the worthlessness of queer lives. This needs to be countered at every level, and queer folk, especially the youth, need to know they are okay, they are whole, they are fine being who they are, and that they are not some broken thing which needs to be fixed.
Full story here.