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Friday, August 18, 2017

Conversion Therapy is Torture

Written by  Mark Segal; Publisher, PGN

To the entire LGBT community: Let’s begin as a community to state the truth without putting lipstick on a pig. Personally, it sickens me when I see someone from GLAAD or HRC on television calling conversion therapy “praying the gay away.” That is downright as truthful as a Donald Trump tweet, and might show how we attempt to soften our message for consumption by the mainstream. Or, it might hide something very sad: our own attempt to not accept what has been done to us as a collective community for years – and that, my friends, is torture.

We use terms like hate crimes, pray away the gay … but much that has been done to “cure” LGBT is sheer torture. And yes, I’m even talking about the water torture. So once again, let’s go back in recent history to make the points and hopefully get us back on the right track, as we are literally fighting to save children’s lives.

For years, going back even before there were lobotomies – oh yes, many lobotomies were performed on LGBT people – society attempted to try and find a way to “change” us, making us holy heterosexuals. When threat of religion and criminal justice began to fail, medical science showed up with lobotomies. Then, psychiatry put its hand in with aversion therapy, which uses the Pavlovian dog-like training to force us to be heterosexual with a handful of horrific tortures. There’s the electric-shock system, some connected to genetics, water treatment – hey, they had it before President Bush – and then there were drugs of various types, some of which stopped people from breathing before an antidote was administered. They lost a few on that one, but hey, better dead than a fag.

Now comes conversion therapy. But this one targets mostly children whose parents are now trying to “save” them. Almost all the types of torture I’ve listed above have been used in some of these conversion camps … and others. ABC News investigative reporter Brian Roberts did one of the best one-hour reports on this practice on “20/20.” It showed corporal punishment, imprisonment and lots more.

I think you get the idea. It’s time to speak out strongly. Say it loud, say it clearly: Conversion therapy is child torture.

Mark Segal is publisher of Philadelphia Gay News. His new memoir And Then I Danced is out now. You can follow him oat Facebook.com/MarkSegalPGN or Twitter.com/PhilaGayNews.

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