Ms. Bisharat, P.3
18 October 2014
Gay Conversion Therapy: For or Against?
Our world today has changed drastically since the times of slavery and unequal treatment. Due to documents such as the Bill of Rights and the Constitution, everyone is now allowed freedom of religion, speech, and so on. However, there is still a controversial topic about a certain crowd of people going around media and our lives today. That group is the LGBT community. Over the past few years, they have been facing numerous amounts of hate and injustice. Some view them as perfectly acceptable in society because, after all, they are human just like the rest of the world. On the other hand, others see them as despicable and unworthy of living because of their homosexuality. There is a possible solution for those who are not fond of gays, lesbians, etc; that resolution is gay conversion therapy. Conversion therapy is a form of rehabilitation that is meant to treat one’s homosexuality through a series of sessions such as associating pain with being gay or degrading one’s self esteem through chastisement and degradation. This too, has also been very conflicting as most going through the therapy see it as painful and damaging, but are forced to because they are not accepted in society (mostly family and friends). Of course, the opposing viewpoint is that it is beneficial because of religious reasons. Although many have strong beliefs that gays should convert, the LGBT community should be granted the choice themselves to go through the conversion therapy procedure because it may cause serious psychological, emotional, and physical damage. The process of conversion therapy is painful and can ultimately lead to suicide and extreme depression along with other psychological damages. One patient, Peter Gajdics spoke out about the abuse and pain he felt along the way as he tried to forcefully convert himself after being rejected by his family and friends. He entered the reparative therapy practice of Dr. Alfonzo in hopes of being able to change himself so that he would again be accepted back into his old life. Throughout the months of coercion, Dr. Alfonso constantly proposed statements saying that staying as a homosexual will never result in happiness and his desire to be gay was a result of his parents not bringing him up right. One form of therapy that was used to “reclaim his innate heterosexuality” was talking out his pain. He was told to release his anger by learning how to undo his error of being homosexual. The analogy Gajdics used to describe the process was “peeling an onion.” Every layer of his childhood that he removed, his homosexuality would fall with it to reveal his true straight self. Another patient, Chaim Levin, tried out the therapy and came out with this: “I worked so hard to change something about me that was so huge, so me, and it caused me so much pain. These reparative therapy groups tell you that if you don’t change, it is the result of not trying hard enough. I felt like a failure” (SPLC Center). Even though gay conversion therapy seems to be wrong, more than most people want gays to convert. All religious people disapprove of homosexuality, and only recently has homosexuality breached the front page and made headline stories. Ten years ago, if one was gay, people instantly cast him or her as an outcast. The Bible itself says, “God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion” (Rom 1:26-27). Even when gays say these homosexual feelings are born in them, many still perceive them as unholy. According to God’s words, any sexual immorality especially homosexuality is a sin. Therefore, most religious people are all for conversion therapy because following God’s words are their top priority. Gay conversion therapy has proven to be extremely differing and contradictory. Everyone in our society should be given a choice. The LGBT should not be an exception. Though there are two very opposing sides, one thing is clear. Being forced to do something is never a good thing. Therefore, even though both sides, for and against reparative therapy have valid arguments, the option should be up to the patient him/herself. The LGBT community and gay conversion therapy are still debatable to this very moment, but the choice is up people themselves. To change or not to change?
"Conversion Therapy." SPLC: Southern Poverty Law Center. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Oct. 2014.
"Conversion Therapy." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 23 Oct. 2014. Web. 24 Oct. 2014.
Gajdics, Peter. "What Actually Happens During Reparative Therapy."Advocate.com. N.p., 29 Oct. 2012. Web. 24 Oct. 2014.
"The Lies and Dangers of Efforts to Change Sexual Orientation." Human Rights Campaign. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Oct. 2014.