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NY State Bans Conversion Therapy

As one of the national leaders in advocacy and policy change for LGBTQ youth, The Trevor Project applauds the Governor Cuomo Administration for making bold efforts to end conversion therapy–a practice grounded in homophobia, transphobia, and discrimination.

Abbe Land, Executive Director and CEO of The Trevor Project expressed support and gratitude for Governor Cuomo’s efforts to end conversion therapy in New York.

The Trevor Project has been on the forefront of fighting against the harmful results of conversion therapy for years. We need and encourage all people who have the power to ban this practice, which can cause a lifetime of damage to the youth we serve, to stand up and take action.

The Trevor Project has continued to work with political leadership and decision makers to help structure the ban that has taken place in California, New Jersey, and Washington D.C. We are pleased that Governor Cuomo has taken action to add New York to this list.

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 hate mongering. The reality that someone can be placed in conversion therapy as a way to “change” their authentic selves can increase a young person’s risk for self-harm or possible cases of suicide.

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 virtually no credible evidence that any type of psychotherapy can change a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, and, in fact, conversion efforts pose 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 results of conversion therapy on LGBTQ youth. We see a future where conversion therapy is banned throughout the nation and our youth are allowed to grow and live as their authentic selves.