John M. Becker

NCLR's New #BornPerfect Campaign Fights 'Ex-Gay' Myth

Filed By John M. Becker | June 24, 2014 12:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: #BornPerfect, conversion therapy, ex-gay, ex-gay myth, ex-gay therapy, Michael Bussee, National Center for Lesbian Rights, NCLR, reparative therapy

nclr-bornperfect.pngToday, the National Center for Lesbian Rights -- one of two organizations leading the nationwide fight against dangerous and discredited "ex-gay" therapy -- is launching #BornPerfect, a social media campaign to tell LGBT people that they are perfect just the way they are and eradicate "ex-gay" therapy (also known as "conversion therapy" and "reparative therapy") within five years.

The group writes, via press release:

Few practices hurt LGBT children more than attempts to change their sexual orientation or gender identity through so-called conversion therapy, also known as "reparative therapy," "ex-gay therapy," or "sexual orientation change efforts." Yet some unethical counselors and therapists continue to subject young LGBT people to these practices--which often include the use of shame and verbal abuse--even though they have been condemned by every major medical and mental health organization in the country.

NCLR has been at the forefront of the effort to protect LGBT kids from these practices for more than 20 years, successfully working to help draft and pass California's Senate Bill 1172 in 2012, the nation's first to protect LGBT children from the dangers of conversion therapy. The following year, NCLR helped New Jersey pass a similar law and is now working with legislators and LGBT leaders in more than a dozen other states to bring protections to LGBT kids across the country.

"The time is long overdue to stop the severe harms being inflicted on young LGBT children and their families by these dangerous practices," said NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell. "These practices have been thoroughly discredited by every major mental health organization, and yet, every day, unethical therapists continue to abuse their professional authority to deceive parents and wreck the lives of youth who deserve nothing but support."

More details, after the break.

michael-bussee.jpgAmong the names lending their support to #BornPerfect is Michael Bussee, the co-founder of the now-defunct "ex-gay" group Exodus International. Bussee has since renounced "ex-gay" therapy, come out as gay, apologized for his role in Exodus, and worked to advance LGBT equality.

In a candid and poignant blog post, Bussee writes:

"In the almost 40 years since I started Exodus International, I can honestly say that I have never met a gay person who became heterosexual through conversion therapy or ex-gay programs. Yes, some stayed celibate for a time. Some even married and said they were happy. But most of those marriages ended with very painful divorces...

"[M]any former leaders of Exodus have come out and are trying to educate the public about the damage these programs do to countless individuals and families. Today, I am retired and devote my time to undoing as much of the damage done by these unscientific and potentially deadly practices as I can.

"That's why I'm coming out in support of #BornPerfect: The Campaign to End Conversion Therapy. It is my hope that one day, these false cures will be exposed for what they really are and that conversion therapy will be put to rest for good. The truth will eventually come to light. Being gay is nothing more than a natural variation in human sexuality. And conversion therapy is nothing more than abuse. And the public, particularly young people, deserve to be protected from this abuse."

For more information about #BornPerfect and to see how you can get involved in the fight against "conversion therapy" in your state, visit the campaign's website.

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