Throughout history, the practice of conversion therapy has been used as a way of “correcting” same-sex attraction and gender nonconformity. Same-sex attraction and transgenderism have long been considered deviant and abnormal behaviors. Up until 1973, The American Psychiatric Association classified homosexuality as a mental disorder. This led many people to support different forms of conversion therapy. Many believe that there is scientific backing for conversion. Most of these methods involve inducing physical and emotional trauma in order to deter same-sex attraction or force people into gender reassignment. According to Kathy Baldock, an LGBT rights advocate, in an article from ABC News Australia, this therapy even includes “giving people drugs while they showed them gay porn so they’d throw up. Not giving them drugs while they showed them heterosexual porn so they wouldn’t throw up.” Conversion therapy was invented for one reason only – to eradicate homosexuality and correct a person’s sexuality or gender identity no matter the cost.
Despite what we may think, conversion therapy is still a very widely used practice. The majority of states have not yet banned conversion therapy for minors. There are some individual states, county, and cities that have banned it, but these constitute for very little in the wider scope of the United States. In addition, there is no state that has banned conversion therapy for adults. According to Victoria Brownworth in an article for Dame Magazine, A law banning conversion therapy for adults is pending in California. “If AB 2943 is passed, California would become the first state to completely ban the practice for both minors and adults.” This would involve conversion therapy only with respect to treatment from a licensed counselor, including mental hospitals, prescriptions, and more specific forms of aversion therapy. This would still allow for religious groups and families to perform individualized conversion therapy with no legal consequences.
More and more people are becoming opposed to the idea of conversion therapy. With more counties and states banning the practice for minors, our nation is moving toward a safer world or LGBT youth. Not only has conversion therapy proved to be ineffective, but it also brings serious emotional, physical, and mental harm to everyone who goes through it. By supporting legislation that would ban conversion therapy for minors, our country would become even closer to full protection for the LGBT community.