Victim of gay conversion therapy: A young lesbian tells her harrowing story of being tortured and abused while being held captive in an unlicensed “residential treatment program” run by Mormons.
In a new book titled Saving Alex: When I Was Fifteen I Told My Mormon Parents I Was Gay, and That’s When My Nightmare Began Alex Cooper, a former Mormon, offers a terrifying account of being held hostage for eight months in an unlicensed “residential treatment program” modeled on the many “therapeutic” boot camps scattered across Utah.
At the Mormon run “treatment center” Alex was physically and verbally abused. Many days she was forced to stand facing a wall wearing a heavy backpack full of rocks. She developed sores on her shoulders and cramps in her back. She eventually attempted suicide and repeatedly tried to escape, but when she was caught, the Mormons running the center beat her. About one such experience Alex writes:
I came to my feet in front of him. He made a fist and punched me in the gut, knocking the wind out of me. I doubled over and choked for breath.
She was 15 at the time.
About her experience at the center, Alex says:
I felt angry, indignant, determined to find a way out. Then the loneliness settled in.
Alex, who was raised a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, describes her experience as “exhausting and humiliating.”
In a recent interview with 2News, Alex spoke about the futility of gay conversion therapy, noting:
It’s like sending you to therapy to change your eye color. It’s not going to work. What it’s going to do is damage you.
Alex reports that since escaping the horrendous abuse at the hands of her Mormon captors, her mother has apologized for placing her in the abusive situation. Alex said:
They thought they were doing the best thing for me. I think that’s what a lot of parents are under the impression of, that they’re doing the best thing for their child.
As one might hope, Alex says she is no longer a practicing member of the Mormon faith.
For more on Alex’s story, see Saving Alex: When I Was Fifteen I Told My Mormon Parents I Was Gay, and That’s When My Nightmare Began.
Watch a report featuring Alex via 2News –