Gay Cure Therapy: Illegal In California, Immoral Everywhere

Gay Cure Therapy Is Torture.

Why you don’t have to choose between God and homosexuality. Gay Cure Therapy: Illegal In California, Immoral Everywhere

California recently became the first state in the nation to ban conversion or “gay cure therapy” for LGBT people. This good news has caused me to remember my own coming out process and how difficult that was.

I came out of the closet as a gay man when I was 36 years old. My marriage was falling apart. My failed relationship somehow gave me the permission I needed to get honest about my own sexual orientation.

While that was one of the most difficult times of my life, I can only imagine how difficult it must be for someone who has been tortured by well-meaning religious zealots and Christian counselors who have subjected them to electrical shocks just for getting aroused by a picture of an attractive person of the same sex.

Electroshock therapy is one form of negative reinforcement commonly used in reparative therapy. Small acupuncture needles are inserted in the hands and electrodes, connected to a generator, are hooked to the needles. Other aversive treatments include electric shock to the genitals, nausea-inducing drugs and tying the patient’s hands down with blocks of ice on them while forcing to patient to watch presentations of homoerotic stimuli.

There is also masturbatory reconditioning, visualizations, social skills training, psychoanalytic therapy and spiritual interventions, like prayer and peer pressure. All of these have been used in an attempt to stop this so-called “gay epidemic.”

These tortures are the behavioral equivalent of spanking a child for wetting her pants before the child is potty trained. You are punishing that child for doing a normal and natural biological act. Any competent child psychologist would tell you how damaging this is to a child’s development and that there are long-term consequences that result from such treatment.

If that isn’t enough, the Brisbane Times recently reported that Exodus Global Alliance, an anti-gay group, relies on “exorcisms, hugging, behavioral management and [forced] marriage,” to treat homosexuality. If these types of practices were performed on any other group of people, there would be loud hue and cry about civil rights issues, discrimination and torture.

Society doesn’t approve of homeless people being put away just because we don’t like them or of doctors giving syphilis to poor black men just to see what happens or lobotomies to the mentally ill. Yet our society has been strangely quiet on this issue until Governor Jerry Brown signed the bill banning this type of torture into law in California.My own shame kept me from coming out, even to myself. I grew up in a fundamentalist Christian family pre-Internet. There was no reference for living a healthy gay lifestyle; it wasn’t even portrayed in the movies. Yet I somehow knew that being gay was not okay, even though it was never discussed.

The messages from church, school and society were clear but subtle. I didn’t even realize I was being brainwashed. My shame was toxic; it permeated my life and as a result caused me to feel that I was not worthy of a good life. This ended up causing me to make choices that were self-destructive and sometimes harmful to the other people in my life.

Most teens and many adults from very religious backgrounds are already confused, guilty and ashamed of themselves. These teenagers then find themselves undergoing reparative therapy without even being told it was conversion therapy. This abuse adds another layer of guilt and shame on top of the guilt and shame accumulated from growing up gay in a heterosexual and homophobic world.

The negative reinforcement of reparative therapy reinforces the belief that the patient is a bad and defective human being at his or her core. No wonder the suicide rate among this population is so high.

Opponents of California’s new law against reparative therapy don’t voice much concern about the teenagers and young adults they believe should be subjected to these forms of mind manipulation. Matt Staver, founder of the Liberty Counsel, one of the proponents of conversion therapy, recently stated to the press, “If the bill is signed into law, it will harm minors, undermine parental rights and interfere with the rights of counselors. Under this bill the counselor will be forced to disregard a client’s religious beliefs or change them.”

It sounds like Mr. Staver is concerned for the civil rights of parents, counselors and the church … but what about the LGBT people he wishes to perpetrate this abuse on?

The American Psychiatric Association declassified homosexuality as a mental disorder in 1973 and declared it a normal variant of human sexuality. They further declared that “[e]thical practitioners refrain from attempts to change individuals’ sexual orientation” and expressed concern over conversion therapy and consider it “potentially harmful.”

In order to agree with me, you have to first believe that a person’s sexual orientation is at least 50% biological and not purely a result of bad parenting, a corrupting culture or adolescent experimentation. Conservative Christians, Mormons and some other fringe group don’t believe that nature may actually create about 10% of any mammal population as LGBT. Instead, they see it as an “abomination before God.”  If they are right, then electroshock therapy and other forms of punishment are exactly what every LGBT person needs in order to become “right before God.”

I know that my coming to terms with my sexual orientation and accepting it as an innate part of who I am was the most difficult and at the same time most liberating thing I have ever done. It wasn’t until I came out of the closet and embraced my true nature that I started living my life as the gifted, creative and talented person God meant me to be. My ability to be of benefit to the world were squandered until I came to terms with my true nature and started to love myself just as I am.

Whether LGBT or straight, we are all born with God-given talents that can help to change the world for the better. Conservative Christians may think that being LGBT is an abomination before God but I say that not manifesting your god-given talents for the benefit of the world is the abomination that God will not be happy with.

How do religious people justify torture, brain washing and forced marriage of people who are different then themselves? I confidently believe that when it comes time to judge, God will decide who among us is the wicked, those who perpetrated abuse and torture on innocent LBGT people or the LGBT people who suffered oppressed by the vigilantes of the far right.

I know in my heart that I am gay, that I am right before God and I’m healthy, happy and well-adjusted. I’m a productive, positive contributor to the well-being of people from all walks of life and I don’t need that confirmed or validated by any religion. It’s my heartfelt wish that all sentient beings everywhere also find the peace of knowing they are good and loving, LGBT or not.

If you are struggling to find your joy, passion or peace of mind, call me, email me, or simply schedule your own appointment online now. My passion is to help gay men overcome growing up gsy in a straight world, to embrace their true nature and to create a loving, successful and wonderful life for themselves and their loved ones, regardless of gender or sexual orientation. Change is possible. Transform your life into the life you’ve always dreamed of! Don’t wait another day!

 

Speak Your Mind

*