What Is Conversion Therapy?
Few practices hurt LGBTQ youth more than attempts to change their sexual orientation or gender identity through so-called conversion therapy, which can cause depression, substance abuse, and even suicide.
But some mental health providers continue to subject young LGBTQ people to these practices—also known as “reparative therapy,” “ex-gay therapy,” or “sexual orientation change efforts”—even though they have been condemned by every major medical and mental health organization in the country.
What Are We Doing?
First we raised funds. In less than a week over 180 donors gave over $10,000 to help support this project. These funds will be used to build this website to coordinate the efforts, create a video capturing the effort to protect LGBTQ youth in every state, printed materials for every state to start the legislation, a travel budget to visit states as needed to submit each bill, and a mental health budget to support survivors who help us start this work.
Next we begin the outreach. In each state we are searching and finding advocacy volunteers to serve as ambassadors. These awesome volunteers will connect us to the local LGBTQ and equality groups as well as recommend state legislators which may be amenable to submitting legislation. It is critical that this work start with constituents on the ground in these states.
Following the Ambassador stage, we hope to make the local LGBTQ and state equality groups our Partners. We will discuss the work to be done and strategize who in the state legislature is most likely to be supportive.
Once we find a state legislator it’s off to the races with discussion, research, and legislative writing until we submit a bill.