Stop Conversion Therapy for LGBTQIA+

Conversion therapy, also known as “reparative therapy,” is a harmful and ineffective practice that attempts to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. It is based on the false premise that being LGBTQ+ is a mental illness that needs to be cured. This approach is not only scientifically unsupported, but it also has devastating consequences for those who undergo it. In this article, we will explore why conversion therapy is a bad thing and why it should be banned worldwide.

First and foremost, it is important to understand that sexual orientation and gender identity are not choices. They are natural aspects of who we are as human beings, just like our skin color or eye color. Research has shown that LGBTQ+ people are born that way and that their sexual orientation and gender identity are not something that can be changed through therapy or other interventions. Therefore, attempting to change someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity is not only ineffective but also harmful.

Lack of scientific evidence

There is no scientific evidence that conversion therapy is effective, and it has been widely discredited by medical and mental health organizations. Instead of providing support and acceptance, conversion therapy can cause significant harm to the mental and emotional well-being of LGBTQ+ individuals.

The foundations of conversion therapy can be traced back to the late 19th century when homosexuality was considered a mental disorder. At that time, some psychiatrists believed that homosexuality could be treated through various methods, including hypnosis, aversion therapy, and hormone treatments.

Conversion therapy stems from the mid-20th century 

In the mid-20th century, religious groups began to promote the idea that homosexuality was a sin and a choice. Some religious leaders and organizations began to offer “reparative therapy” or “ex-gay therapy” aimed at changing a person’s sexual orientation through prayer, counseling, and other religious practices. Despite the lack of scientific evidence supporting the efficacy of conversion therapy, some organizations and individuals still promote the practice today. 

Conversion therapy may promote depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation

However, many medical and mental health associations, including the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, and the World Health Organization, have issued statements condemning conversion therapy and supporting the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals to receive affirming and accepting care. When LGBTQ+ people are told that they are broken and need to be fixed, it can have a profound impact on their mental health and well-being. Studies have shown that LGBTQ+ people who have undergone conversion therapy are more likely to experience depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation than those who have not.

Dangerous practices

Moreover, conversion therapy often involves abusive and dangerous practices such as electroshock therapy, aversion therapy, and exorcism. These methods have been widely discredited by medical professionals and are not supported by any reputable mental health or LGBTQ+ organization

Another reason why conversion therapy is a bad thing is that it reinforces harmful stereotypes and prejudices about LGBTQ+ people. By promoting the idea that being LGBTQ+ is a mental illness, conversion therapy perpetuates the idea that LGBTQ+ people are abnormal, deviant, and in need of fixing. This attitude contributes to discrimination, bullying, and violence against LGBTQ+ people and reinforces the idea that they are not worthy of equal rights and protections.

Furthermore, conversion therapy is often forced upon LGBTQ+ people by their families or religious communities. Many LGBTQ+ people are subjected to conversion therapy against their will, often in the name of religion or cultural tradition. This can lead to feelings of isolation, shame, and self-hatred and can cause long-term psychological harm.

How diversophobia fuels conversion therapy

Diversophobia fuels conversion therapy by creating a climate of fear and intolerance towards LGBTQ individuals. This can lead to a range of negative outcomes, including bullying, discrimination, and violence against LGBTQ people. When LGBTQ individuals are subjected to conversion therapy, they may feel forced to deny their true selves and conform to societal norms that stigmatize and marginalize them. This can cause significant harm to their mental health and well-being, and may even increase their risk of suicide.

Ultimately, diversophobia is a form of bigotry that has no place in a just and equitable society. It is essential that we work to promote understanding, acceptance, and love for all people, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, race, religion, or any other characteristic that makes them unique. By working to combat diversophobia, we can help ensure that all individuals are able to live their lives free from discrimination, harassment, and prejudice.

Not just a problem in the United States

It is important to note that conversion therapy is not just a problem in the United States. It is a global issue that affects millions of people around the world. In many countries, including some developed nations, conversion therapy is still legal and widely practiced. This highlights the urgent need for international action to ban conversion therapy and protect the rights and well-being of LGBTQ+ people everywhere.

In conclusion, conversion therapy is a harmful and ineffective practice that has no place in modern society. It is based on false assumptions and prejudices about LGBTQ+ people and can cause long-term psychological harm. Therefore, it is essential that we work to ban conversion therapy worldwide and promote acceptance, understanding, and love for all people, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. 

About the author Robert Paul Kersbergen

Robert Paul Kersbergen is a full-stack digital marketer who helps startups grow and occasionally invests in them. He also founded an LGBTQ+ charity called Convive Panama in Panama and volunteered for several years in an LGBTQ+ safe sex project in Amsterdam. His charity collaborated with the mayor’s office, several embassies, and DELL, and its weekly support group is still active.

The information on this page is not intended to be a substitution for diagnosis, treatment, or informed professional advice. You should not take any action or avoid taking any action without consulting with a qualified mental health professional. If you are in a crisis or any other person may be in danger,  these resources can provide you with immediate help:
Suicide and Crisis Lifeline 988
24 Hour Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1.800.273.8255
Crisis Text Line Text TALK to 741741