“Even in states with bans, the overwhelming percentage of conversion therapy still continues. Every state. Every day.”
I see them on an increasingly regular basis. Social media posts celebrating another state that has banned conversion therapy. The latest was about Facebook’s decision to ban all conversion therapy ads on their platform and on Instagram.
This is great progress and I celebrate as well! These bans are a large step and critical in a journey to bring this horrible, harmful practice to light, helping make conversion therapy culturally unacceptable.
But it is vitally important to remember that, even in states with bans, the overwhelming percentage of conversion therapy still continues. Every state. Every day.
What!? How? That’s their deadly little secret. Every ban has a religious exemption!
Most conversion therapy happens in protected churches and religious nonprofits, under programs such as “troubled teen” camps and weekends — led by pastors, youth ministers, and other non-professional counselors. Every state. Every day.
The techniques are disgusting… shame, relentless bullying, physical abuse, spiritual abuse.
The results are deadly… depression, self-hatred, self-harm, substance abuse, suicide.
What can we do?
Yes, keep working to bring about more bans to increase public awareness. Absolutely!
And we must reach the parents, understanding that the key to ending conversion therapy is helping parents not send their kids there in the first place.
Let’s reveal it as so disgusting, so culturally unacceptable, that a parent would never even consider sending their child to something so evil and deadly.
Come alongside parents on their journey so they know they are not alone. Help them understand their children, keep them safe, keep their family strong, and help reconcile faith issues.
This is what FreedHearts does every day. And it’s working. We have connected with hundreds of thousands of parents, helping them affirm, accept and celebrate their LGBTQIA+ children!
And we have connected with hundreds of thousands in the LGBTQIA+ community to help with those deep religious, family and community wounds. To remember that they are worthy, that they matter, that they are beloved.
Stay strong, hopeful and dedicated. Things are changing and conversion therapy’s deadly little secret is becoming not so secret.
If we can help you in any way; to join us in this work; or to just come say hello, click here.