Conversion Therapy and Legislative Bans
Conversion Therapy is in the news nearly every day. Thanks to movies like Boy Erased and others, the horrible, unscientific practice of trying to change one's sexual or gender identity through pseudoscience "therapy" is being banned in states and municipalities across the nation. This is a very good move, however these legislative bans will have little impact on the practice of conversion therapy.
Facts about what state bans on conversion therapy do and don't do:
Prohibit the state licensed mental/health/social workers from practicing conversion therapy. There is nothing to prohibit non-licensed counselors, life coaches, mentors, or faith based organizations from practicing
Protects only those under the age of 18 but contains no protections for adults.
Does little to account for the changing language of the ex-gay movement. Most of those who practice some form of conversion therapy claim to reject the practice but use a wide array of tactics and language to avoid the negative association.
I spent nearly 3 years in ex-gay therapy which is also known as conversion therapy, reparative therapy, and a host of other terms. Both of my ex-gay counselors are still practicing. One of them has repeatedly contacted me to attempt to rewrite history and deny that he practiced anything like conversion therapy. Those of us who spent hours upon hours in group and individual session sure wish he had made that known to as back then!
I presented about this topic at the National PFLAG Conference on Saturday, October 26. I promised the following info-graphic created by Jerilyn Hassell Pool to those in attendance. I decided to post it here so all of my followers could read and benefit from it.