Dear Conversion Therapists,
When will you eventually give up the charade that people are able to change their sexuality? In the past your ‘profession’ has used castration, ice pick lobotomies, and psychiatric institutions. It has conducted electric shock therapy sessions, induced vomiting, and physically beaten any mannerism it deemed not ‘masculine’ out of young gay men in an attempt to turn them straight. Some have even tried to put the “fear of God” into them. Did any of it work?
These young men who come to you for help are in a crisis. After years of society feeding them the lies that homosexuality is sinful, dirty, and leads to a life of unhappiness, they arrive at your door as a last resort. They are at desperate and vulnerable. But instead of the genuine care and support they need, you offer them false hope.
I’ve seen some of you trot out examples of the “success” you’ve had. The man who was gay but is now straight, married to a woman, and has three kids. Or the man who prayed so hard that the Holy Spirit itself came down and miraculously removed the desire for love and cock. At a push, you may even claim a client who hasn’t had gay sex in ten years as a win. But in truth all you’ve done is unwittingly dragged an innocent woman into your scam as a cover, given faith to the religious when there is none, or taken a twisted sense of pride in making a man live a life of celibacy, devoid of intimacy and human contact that we all need and deserve.
What’s worse is that you also offer these promises to the parents of young gay men. You are setting these kids up for failure, knowing they will pay the cost of disappointed parents who will believe they “didn’t try hard enough.”
So, when every reputable medical organization agrees that conversion therapy doesn’t work and recognizes that it only harms young gay men, why do you continue to practice it?
Is it for your own gratification? Forgive me for being suspicious, but I can’t help but question the motives of anyone who wants to be alone in a room with young gay men to discuss their sexuality and desires. A parent’s approval or an invoice at the end of a session offers good cover, but with so much public evidence pointing to conversion therapy not working, I can’t help finding the whole arrangement more than a little sinister.
Is it the money? How can you live with yourselves knowing you’re profiting off someone’s misery at the most desperate point in their lives? You’re no better than a thief stealing the wallet off a suicidal man poised to jump from a bridge.
Is it the recognition? Considering conversion therapy doesn’t work, I find it hard to believe your success rate affords you any notoriety or decent reputation.
Let’s face it. You’re nothing but frauds and monsters, and I look forward to the day you’re all hauled into tribunals for offering a cure for a sickness that doesn’t exist.
With utter contempt,
P.S. A quick word to the ever-increasing number of conversion therapists who practiced for years, only to come out as gay themselves. You’re the worst type of gay man there can be. You preyed on the fears, shame, and anxiety you once had and used your experience to manipulate others for money. You’ve damaged countless young lives and are responsible for innumerable years of confusion and unhappiness — years that could have been spent accepting and learning to love themselves. You’ve stolen time and a community that would love and support them. Your tearful begging for forgiveness will never be granted — because what you have done is unforgivable. If there is a hell, like the one you threatened your charges with, I hope you rot in it for eternity because that’s what you deserve.
This letter was submitted to the ‘Open Letters’ series. If you would like to contribute by writing a letter of your own, please contact Greg at [email protected]