“My only regret about being gay is that I repressed it for so long. I surrendered my youth to the people I feared when I could have been out there loving someone. Don’t make that mistake yourself. Life is too damn short.” An inspirational quote from Armistead Maupin.

Many people are unaware of the abuse that homosexuals and transgenders are put through. They debate about bullying and their rights to marriage, but they are not concerned about the people who are trying to change their sexual orientation to escape the problems that come with being gay. According to an article called ‘Regulating Sexual Orientation Change Efforts: The California Approach, Its Limitations, and Potential Alternatives’, written by Jacob Victor, (a former student of Yale law school) Some of these people were forced to be put through horrifying experiments that promise nothing. These experiments are practiced through conversion therapy. Another form of therapy, similar to conversion, is aversion therapy. Both practices are performed on homosexuals and transgenders in clinics where people are held until their homosexuality is cured or their behavior matches the gender they were born as. As you read through this essay, you will realize that there is more abuse than therapy being provided to the patients held in these clinics.

To fully understand how these clinics and therapy practices came along, you must know how they originated. As stated in his own book, ‘Reparative Therapy of Male Homosexuality’, written in 1922, a man named Joseph Nicolosi who received his PH.D from the New School of Social Research, had a purpose to help the homosexuals who did not believe they were truly gay.  To make his goals successful, he founded NARTH which stands for the National Organization for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality. The purpose of this organization was to help gays realize that they had the potential to become heterosexual. Nicolosi believed that homosexuality is a choice and can be manipulated through conversion therapy as well as aversion therapy. Both had the purpose of changing a person’s natural feelings or behavior.

 

 

Nicolosi had good intentions to ethically help the patients that came to him with their concerns of being homosexual by making up for the lack of emotional support that they typically lacked from their parents, especially of the same sex, through reparative therapy. However, other therapists were determined to get the same results with different attempts. In this case, their purpose was to convince gays that their homosexuality is shameful. The therapy sessions also included manipulation to change patients behaviors in many unethical ways. The practices are explained through an article titled ‘The Cautionary Tale of Tom’: The Male Homosexual Experience of Scottish Medicine in The 1970s and Early 1980s, written by Roger Davison. it is stated by Dr David Whitlow, a clinical psychotherapist at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital that electric shock was used on patience as a way to punish them for getting aroused in a homosexual way. Nausea-inducing drugs were often paired with the shocks for the same purpose.

According to  Jeffrey Keefe, O.F.M. Conv., in his article The Homosexual Person Outreach with an understanding heart — Part II it is mentioned that abusive practices, such as electroshock, were used during therapy practices because some therapists believe that homosexuality is triggered through trauma, therefore they attempt to change sexual orientation back through trauma. Although not all types of conversion therapy is related to trauma, the purpose is to convince individuals that their natural behaviors, thoughts, or emotions are not accepted in society. The goal is to change the patient so they can be accepted in society. This includes verbal abuse by simply convincing patients to change things about themselves, which sometimes includes shaming and putting patients down for being homosexual or lacking masculinity.

 

Many people, such as a former client of Dr Robert Spitzer’s,  have committed suicide because they were so ashamed of themselves and blame themselves for not trying hard enough when the treatment didn’t work. In an article called ‘Letters to the Editor’ written by Nicolosi, he mentions in reference to  Alice Christianson’s article (“A Reemergence of Reparative Therapy”),  that  “Ms. Christianson says reparative therapy uses “aversive therapy, electric shock, chemical aversion, and orgasmic reconditioning.” I know of no one in the field who uses or has ever used such techniques”. However,  even after Nicolosi died, other therapists such as, Dr David Whitlow, a clinical psychotherapist at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital; continued to perform these practices on homosexuals without being licensed to do so and without any proof that conversion therapy is successful. The clinics are present in locations where homosexuality has been legalized, such as South America, Europe, and many other areas. There are over 200 clinics that claim to only treat drug and alcohol addicts. The proof of the existence of these clinics has been witnessed by Paola Paredes, a female reporter who went undercover to visit one of these clinics in Ecuador and was shocked to learn how the patients are treated in the process of therapy. She was told by one of the patients that they are often punished verbally and physically. There are no limitations for any kind of abuse. The purpose of intimidation is to make the patient’s more compliant.

Often times, patients would be left without food, but if a patient protest by refusing to eat, they would be forced to drink a mixture of coffee, chlorine, and toilet water. Other punishments included being forced to clean toilets without gloves or any cleaning utensils except their bare hands. Therapy takes place when patients are required to attend group sessions without clothes. Women are forced to dress up in skirts and heels with makeup on. Patients are forced to participate in a religious practices, physical exercise, and to watch pornography. They are constantly being supervised, except when they are bathing for seven minutes each day. More severe attempts to change sexual orientation include brain surgery, castration, and breast amputations. Patients who have been set free from the clinics have seeked therapy for PTSD, especially after being forced to participate in correction rape. In an effort to find a solution for the patients, she created an article ‘Until You Change’ containing this information and posted it on her own website.

There are still people trapped in the clinics hoping to either escape or eventually experience successful results from the abuse they are forced to tolerate. They were either forced to be committed by people who don’t accept their differences, or they wanted to change themselves to feel accepted by not having differences. Although the clinics are banned for children, they are still harmful for adults. The clinics are protected by religion and churches, which is why it’s almost impossible to ban them for everyone. The clinics could remain an option for people who seek help and would like to be committed by free will. All patients should also be allowed to leave whenever they want. Although the patients are constantly supervised, the clinics are not being supervised by any law enforcement. According to the article Surveillance for Violent Deaths — National Violent Death Reporting System, 17 States, 2013. Written by Lyons, Bridget H.,  a total of 18,765 fatal incidents involving 19,251 deaths were captured by NVDRS (National Violent Death Reporting System). If the patients are never allowed to leave the clinics, they would not be capable of reporting abuse from their therapists. By putting the clinics under surveillance, law enforcements would be aware of how the patents are treated.

After reading this essay, you are aware of the serious abuse that homosexuals and transgenders go through to become heterosexual. They are forced to tolerate dangerous experiments hoping to fit in, but the rest of the world should change instead. With the help of police watching the clinics through cameras, homosexuals will have a safe place to receive therapy. Rather than banning the clinics altogether, they can be available to offer religious guidance for the people who want to change their sexual orientation for their religion.

Works Cited

‘Regulating Sexual Orientation Change Efforts: The California Approach, Its Limitations,
and Potential Alternatives’, written by Jacob Victor Source:Yale Law Journal. Mar2014, Vol. 123 Issue 5, p1532-1585. 54p.

‘Reparative Therapy of Male Homosexuality’, written in 1922, by Joseph Nicolosi
Page xv – Page 6

‘The Cautionary Tale of Tom’: The Male Homosexual Experience of Scottish Medicine in The 1970s and Early 1980s, written by Roger Davison
Source: Journal of Scottish Historical Studies. 2008, Vol. 28 Issue 2, p122-138. 17p.   

The Homosexual Person Outreach with an understanding heart — Part II written by
Jeffrey Keefe Source: Priest. Jul2011, Vol. 67 Issue 7, p45-47. 3p.

Letters to the Editor. Authors:Nicolosi, Joseph1, Christianson, Alice M.
Source:ContemporarySexuality. Jan2006, Vol. 40 Issue 1, p15-16. 2p.

http://www.paolaparedes.com ‘Until You Change’ Author: Paola Paredes
Surveillance for Violent Deaths — National Violent Death Reporting System, 17 States, 2013. Written by Lyons, Bridget H., Fowler, Katherine A., Jack, Shane P. D. Betz, Carter J., Blair,
Janet M.  source: blyons@cdc.gov  MMWR Surveillance Summaries. 8/19/2016, Vol. 65 Issue 10, p1-42. 42p.