A new study found that trans people reported experiencing this discredited and harmful treatment at a higher rate than gays and lesbians
One of the most difficult issues we face fighting “ex-gay” conversion therapy is the idea that it is a relic of the past — an unfortunate abuse of a bygone era. The reality is that conversion practices are alive and well in the United States and other parts of the world.
If a child grows up in a fundamentalist household–whether it be Christian, Muslim, Jewish, LDS or another conservative faith tradition– it might as well still be 1950. A new study finds that conversion practices are more common than most people imagine and a scourge that must be eradicated.
Benjamin Ryan of NBC News reports on the studies findings:
A substantial proportion of LGBTQ people report having been subjected to systematic efforts to deter them from expressing their sexuality or gender identity, according to a major new international review of over a dozen studies. Known as conversion therapy, such treatment has been broadly condemned by psychological and medical organizations and has been banned for minors in 22 states.
Transgender people, the study found, reported a history of conversion therapy at a higher rate than gays and lesbians.
“We’re disheartened to find that these practices remain prevalent,” said Travis Salway, an assistant professor of health sciences at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia.
“This is a big problem. It really should be a big problem even if it’s happening to one person,” said Dr. Jack Drescher, a New York psychiatrist and one of the leading advocates in the decadeslong movement to end conversion therapy, referring to the apparent persistence of the practice. He was not involved in the study.
Far from being over, the fight against “ex-gay” conversion therapy never ends. As long as prejudice and discrimination exist in society, people will feel coerced or compelled to try to change their sexual orientation or gender identity.
On National Coming Out Day, October 11, Truth Wins Out Executive Director, Wayne Besen, will be releasing his new book to fight conversion efforts, “Lies with a Straight Face: Exposing the Cranks and Cons Inside the Ex-Gay Industry.” Pre-orders are available at this link