Friday, October 19, 2007

Why "Reparative Therapy" Is Bad

The Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum have tried to insist that the Montgomery County sex-ed classes should have something about "ex-gays" and about "reparative therapy" in them. The idea is that students should learn that you choose your sexual orientation, so if you feel like you might be gay, don't worry, you can go to a preacher, or in some cases a shrink, who will "repair" you. Of course, that's not true, but the CRC needs to believe this in order to bolster their assertion that sexual orientation is a moral choice. Then if you insist on staying gay, they can blame you and judge you for making a bad moral decision. Then they will be demonstrably, obviously, better than you, which is what this is all about.

Peterson Toscano describes himself as an "ex-gay survivor." He has a blog HERE. This week he did something really good. He posted a nicely organized review of the ways that reparative therapy has hurt people. Here's how he gets into it:
In the past 4.5 years I have been in contact with over 1000 ex-gay survivors. These are people who pursued ex-gay experiences, either on their own, or more often, assisted by others like a therapist, minister, ex-gay program. They attempted to change or suppress their sexual orientation and may have referred to themselves as ex-gays or simply strugglers or by some other name.

Through hearing their stories (some of which are posted on Beyond Ex-Gay--bXg) and in unpacking my own ex-gay journey, I have begun to understand the many ways people can be harmed by their ex-gay experiences. Many of us also received certain benefits from our ex-gay experiences, but in most cases the harm outweighs the good. Ex-Gay Harm--Let Me Count the Ways

So after talking to all these people, he's made a list. He's also asking visitors to his blog to suggest additions to the list, so you can figure it's going to get longer and fill out over time.

You should follow the link and read his text, but to lure you there I'm going to list just the category titles (Box Turtle Bulletin did the same thing):
  • Emotional Harm
  • Psychological Harm
  • Spiritual Harm
  • Relationship Harm
  • Financial Harm
  • Career Harm
  • Physical Harm
  • Sexual Harm
  • Developmental Harm

Interesting post. The comments are good, too -- it's amazing to read about the experiences these guys have gone through, trying to make themselves over in a way that just wasn't meant to be. Like one guy says, "It's not simply the ministries that cause this harm, but the entire religious error that underpins the movement. Those of us who grew up in conservative anti-gay religions bear the scars and the wounds inflicted upon us for our entire lives."

Three years ago, when we started this TeachTheFacts thing, I had never heard of an "ex-gay" person. I didn't know if there was any such thing or not, and it seemed like a weird thing to fight about. But the shriller the nuts got about this, the more you saw that it's just a lie, just a hoax meant to spread ugliness in the world. It's an industry based on denial, really sad.

21 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrea- not anon
But, but what about Richard "cuddle with me" Cohen? CRC says he knows what he is doing- even when Exodus disavowed him- and we know CRC is never wrong.

October 19, 2007 7:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The idea is that students should learn that you choose your sexual orientation, so if you feel like you might be gay, don't worry, you can go to a preacher, or in some cases a shrink, who will "repair" you."

Saying this is not so is very similar to the tactics of cults. And so is the motivation. Once you join up with their little group, they want you to think you can't leave. All cults are like that.

Those who believe in immutable homosexuality are a crazed cult!!

October 20, 2007 12:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"But, but what about Richard "cuddle with me" Cohen? CRC says he knows what he is doing- even when Exodus disavowed him- and we know CRC is never wrong."

Poor, pathetic Andreary. She's really fascinated by the whole hugging thing.

Sacre bleu!

October 20, 2007 12:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The idea is that students should learn that you choose your sexual orientation, so if you feel like you might be gay, don't worry"

And TTF's message is what if you "feel lie you might be gay"?

Their message is, then you are and you're stuck with it for life.

We must remember these are kids, just starting out in life that TTF is trying to convince.

Wonder how many kids hear this dismal message and get depressed and suicidal.

This is the latest from TTF, also known as CIC, Creeps for Irresponsible Curriculum.

October 20, 2007 7:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous:
It must be embarrassing for you to be the village idiot! Perhaps you need to find a "reparative therapy" program to correct your defficiency!

October 20, 2007 10:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Anon:

You're a complete mess. You could use a whole lot of IN-PATIENT therapy, since you are obviously a threat to society (being full of all that internal homophobia has thrown you off the deep end!)

October 20, 2007 5:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"And TTF's message is what if you "feel lie you might be gay"?

Their message is, then you are and you're stuck with it for life.

Wonder how many kids hear this dismal message and get depressed and suicidal."

__
I have to agree with the above statements. Your complaints about this seem awfully emotionally entangled and involved for someone with a completely outsider objective perspective.

It sounds like you've had experience with the phenomenon of being told that you should be gay.

And since you weren't gay or didn't want to be told you were gay, it seems like now you're taking this out on everyone who is gay.

October 21, 2007 9:40 AM  
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