The ex-gay organization Exodus International says that it loves LGBT people. Yet, the organization demeans and debases gay people on a regular basis. It calls our relationships “sexual brokenness” and our sexual orientation “perverse”. This creates a climate of hostility and sometimes violence. The results have been devastating for LGBT people.
Last year, San Francisco State researcher Caitlin Ryan found that, “Teens who experienced negative feedback were more than eight times as likely to have attempted suicide, nearly six times as vulnerable to severe depression and more than three times at risk of drug use.”
Now, a new study from researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and Children’s Hospital Boston has found that gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, and heterosexuals who have ever had a same-sex sex partner are one-and-a-half to two times as likely to experience violent events, especially in childhood, than the general population and have double the risk of experiencing posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a consequence of these events.
The researchers suggest five mechanisms for the increased risk of victimization and PTSD among sexual minorities:
- Hate crimes–almost one-third of sexual minority adults in the U.S. report being victims of a hate crime
- Gender non-conforming behavior in childhood, which increases risk of being bullied and victimized
- Social isolation and discrimination due to sexual minority orientation
- Elevated risk-taking behavior stemming from social isolation and perceived stigma
- Limited access to mental health care
The two studies that I highlighted prove that the mistreatment of LGBT youth is harmful and the effects can last a lifetime if not properly treated. What is sad is that this pain and suffering would disappear virtually overnight if groups like Exodus and their right wing puppet-masters abandoned their mean-spirited attack campaigns against LGBT Youth.
Message to Exodus: If you really love gays and lesbians – the most compassionate thing to do would be to close the doors of your miserable, ruinous ministry and stop preying on and dehumanizing good people simply for who they are.
Exodus, you are not “saving” anyone – just creating more heartbreaking statistics for abuse counselors and the coroner’s office.