In a country based on freedom and liberty, citizens should be able to craft, and accept their own identities and be who they truly really are. So why does most of our country, including the vice president, attack the LGBT community?

Mike Pence is our current Vice President and he has spoken against LGBT issues in the past, like same-sex marriage, and anti-discrimination laws, both of which he opposed. He also explained on his website, “Congress should support the reauthorization of the Ryan White Care Act only after completion of an audit to ensure that federal dollars were no longer being given to organizations that celebrate and encourage the types of behaviors that facilitate the spreading of the HIV virus. Resources should be directed toward those institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior.” HIV is commonly paired with the LGBT community, so it seems like an attack towards that group. The comment “those seeking to change their sexual behavior” is referring to conversion therapy.

I am a gay man who has many LGBT friends and family, and I want conversion therapy banned. It takes an exponential amount of emotion and energy to come out, and you have the fear of being rejected and you have the possibility of people loving and accepting you. I was lucky enough to be accepted by my loved ones. With the rejection, sometimes worse things happen. Sometimes you are thrown out of your house or you are forced into conversion therapy just to live at home afterwards. It is wrong to hurt people because of who they love. Conversion therapy should be banned because it has never worked, and only hurts the person physically and mentally.

Conversion therapy was first started in 1913, by Abraham Bill, he wrote a book about homosexuality, and developed techniques to “cure” homosexuality such as bladder washing, rectal massage, and castration, along with hypnosis, but referred approvingly to Freud and Sadger’s use of psychoanalysis to cure homosexuality. But it didn’t work, it can’t help people change, and there are no actual cases of people with changed sexuality. As stated by Brothers Road, a conversion therapy, “Heterosexuality alone can never guarantee happiness.” This is a quote from a conversion therapy organization. They would rather you be happy than straight. This should be a rule to live by. The U.S. Declaration of Independence includes “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” as our “unalienable rights” that each human being has received from their creator. Conversion therapy takes away our happiness. If only some people have the right to happiness what makes us different from other countries?

Those who want to help individuals in the LGBT community should want you to be someone who is happy with yourself, not someone who is self loathing. Most conversion therapies teach you to hate yourself because you are “unclean.” This isn’t right in the world today, we should be teaching love, not hate. LGBT people are 8 times more likely to attempt suicide, 6 times as likely to report high levels of depression, more than 3 times as likely to use illegal drugs, and more than 3 times as likely to be at high risk for HIV and STDs. Suicide, depression, drug use, and increased STDs, these all can change if people become informed and are more accepting of LGBT people. Every major health, and mental health organization has released statements oppose conversion therapy and reparative therapy, including the American Psychological Association, the American Psychoanalytic Association, the American Medical Association,  the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and a lot of others. That should mean something to even the most bigoted person. Don’t be a part of the problem.



Hudson Hall

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