Ware Farms

Speaking truth to prejudice

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


The Harm in Pretending to be Straight

Still at FSB (see prior post).

OL got in a tizzy when I misunderstood what he meant by "Gays don't have children..." Of course, OL misrepresents what others say all the time so as to present them in the most unflattering way. Was this an accident on my part. Only the shadow knows. On to my next comment:

On Lawn said, “Gays can get married, [I know, just like Negroes could get married, as long as it was to someone of the same race.] unless one believes a homosexual as incapable of loving, honoring and cherishing a person of the opposite sex.”

It’s not what one “believes,” it’s the overwhelming scientific research that has developed over the last 50+ years. Sexual orientation is an innate trait which cannot be changed. Trying to change one’s orientation has harmful effects, some severe. A 2002 survey of 202 persons who attempted these ex-gay treatments found nearly 90% had been harmed by the process. As people come to realize that change is not possible, they become depressed, suicidal or engage in other self-destructive behaviors. Are you not aware that one of the co-founders of Exodus committed suicide when he realized his best efforts to change were fruitless?

Then it falls on legitimate counselors to put these shattered lives back together. At the group I worked with in Chattanooga, we would try to forecast how long we expected therapy to take (for planning purposes) based on each client’s intake information. When a victim of “conversion” therapy arrived, we would take the time they spent there and multiply by a factor of two. So if someone spent a year being “cured” of their homosexuality, we would estimated that it would take two years to restore them to psychological health.

Because of the documented harm that is done, proposing to help someone change their sexual orientation is unethical professionally and morally reprehensible as well.

It’s never in the interest of clients to encourage them to pretend they are something they are not.


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