“Gay conversion” therapy is in the news again, with concerns that the practice is again on the rise.
In the past, this kind of reparative “therapy” was offered as a cure for homosexuality, but the practice fell out of favour after being condemned by the UN, the Australian Medical Association and the Australian Psychological Association.
It now seems that it never really went away, it just went underground, and has reappeared as faith-based “unwanted sexual feelings counselling”, and is also now targeting young trans and gender diverse people.
In fact, there is a lot of evidence that reparative therapies cause much harm, and are tantamount to abuse.
Adult victims of these programs all over the world can attest to the fact that they didn’t work, produced intense mental torment, and caused them to waste huge chunks of their lives being inauthentic.
The harm doesn’t stop with the individuals themselves, but also extends to spouses and children.
Religious conversion is about changing a belief system. But same sex attraction and gender identity is not a belief system or a choice.
It’s an innate part of an individual’s makeup. You can’t change it with therapy or prayers.
You might as well try to change your eye colour through praying. It’s who you are.
People aren’t born believing in Christianity or Islam, it’s something that is handed to them by their immediate environment after birth.
But there is a huge pile of convincing evidence that sexual orientation and gender identity are innate genetically coded elements of the individual, not learnt or chosen.
You may recall that during the awful debate that occurred in the lead-up to the same sex marriage plebiscite, the leader of the Australian Christian Lobby was calling for conversion therapy for gay or trans youth.
Promoting conversion therapy for children does two evil things.
First it causes psychological harm to children by trying to force them to change something they simply cannot change, and second it tells these children and the world that they are abnormal and need fixing.
This activity needs to be shut down, and it is the role of government to ensure that its citizens are not subjected to such harmful practice.
Dr Bisshop and Gold Coast sexual health specialist Dr Stuart Aitken have set up the Gender and Sexuality Conversion Therapy Survey to uncover the extent of “gay conversion” therapies still going in Queensland. They want to hear Queenslanders’ experiences after a recent state government-led roundtable discussion on the issue. To complete the survey, click here.”
Dr Fiona Bisshop specialises in LGBTIQ health and is available by appointment at Holdsworth House Medical Brisbane. Call (07) 3894 0794 or visit the Holdsworth House website. Read more by Dr Bisshop on her website here or contact her on Twitter.