As one of the national leaders in advocacy and policy change for LGBTQ youth, The Trevor Project applauds the Obama Administration’s call to end conversion therapy – a discredited practice grounded in homophobia, transphobia, and discrimination.
Abbe Land, Executive Director and CEO of The Trevor Project expressed support for the Obama Administration’s call to end conversion therapy:
“The Trevor Project has been on the forefront of fighting against what is deemed as “conversion therapy” for years. In fact, we have recently worked to have it banned in California, New Jersey, and in Washington D.C.
As an organization, The Trevor Project offers support to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth (LGBTQ) who face so much intolerance, prejudice and-even-hatemongering; this can increase a young person’s risk for self-harm and suicide, especially with combined with other factors like harmful conversion therapy efforts. The causes of suicide are complicated, but we know that over 41% of trans people have reportedly attempted suicide, and LGB youth are four times as likely to attempt suicide than their straight peers. This is happening in our country, right now. We have to take steps to protect these youth, and help save lives nationwide.
There is no credible evidence that any type of psychotherapy can change a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, and, in fact, conversion efforts poses critical health risks to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, including depression, shame, decreased self-esteem, social withdrawal, substance abuse, risky behavior, and suicidality. Nearly all the nation’s leading mental health associations, including the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Counseling Association, the National Association of Social Workers, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy have examined conversion efforts and issued cautionary position statements on the utilization of these practices.
The Trevor Project continues to work closely with other policy makers and organizations around the nation to talk to and provide information about the detrimental effects of conversation therapy on LGBTQ youth.
The White House “We The People” petition seeking to ban this discredited practice has been signed by more than 120,000 people. This is a bold statement about how the American population feels. We encourage people to speak out to friends and family, and over social media networks, about how we can help save young lives by ending conversion therapy,” states Abbe Land, Executive Director and CEO, The Trevor Project.