“Praying the Gay Away” nearly killed me -- outlaw ‘Gay Conversion’ therapy
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Trying to “Pray the Gay Away” nearly killed me. I’m not the only one. An investigation in The Age and Sydney Morning Herald revealed gay conversion therapy has not disappeared in Australia, but has simply gone more underground. According to the article, even children have been subjected to ex-gay therapy.
I was only 16 when my own ‘conversion therapy’ began. I came out to a church leader who wanted me to be ‘cured’ and I began sessions with a counsellor aimed at changing my sexuality. At 17 my church introduced me to the leader of an actual program designed to turn me straight. Eventually, I was desperate enough to try it.
Every week, members spoke about their ‘sins’ and we learned about the spiritual and experiential reasons that we had ‘turned gay’. I was so ashamed and guilt-ridden that I remained completely celibate for years.
So-called ‘conversion therapy’ causes depression, self-loathing and even suicide. I prayed to God asking him to either heal me, or kill me. I was so depressed, I wanted to die. The trauma associated with that part of my life still affects me - how could it not?
How is this legal?
I don’t want to see a single kid harmed by “therapies” that tell them that something that is innate in them is evil or demonic or needs to be ‘healed’.
Please, sign this petition calling for Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the Health Minister Greg Hunt to work with each state to protect the most vulnerable and outlaw gay conversion therapy and it’s advocacy nationwide. It has no place in our medical profession and certainly not in the lives of minors.
*UPDATE* This petition focuses on legislation/regulation to prevent ‘gay conversion’ being practised in formal or therapeutic settings (such as in counsellors offices). This is a good start, however to effectively curtail the SOCE/Gay Conversion movement, a much broader response is needed. After signing this petition, please read the recommendations in the survivor statement at www.SOCEsurvivors.com.au
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