Ban These Deadly Amateur Therapies

Broken Dolls, by Brett Lider

Tonight on my radio program on Joy 94.9, I’m going to explore the issue of so –called ‘reparative therapy’. I was moved to do so by the story of someone who had been through these programs and, far from being helped, had ended up taking their own life. Death by Religion: Ex-Gay Therapy Claims Another Life

It’s all too common a story. I recently posted the tale of a New Zealand man who tried to kill himself, and, fortunately, failed. Having suffered at the hands of these ‘therapists’, he went on to reject his faith and embrace his sexuality. Exodus from Ex-Gay Therapy

Others find another route: Freedom2b is a group for Christians on the journey to reconciling their faith and sexuality. Founder Anthony Venn-Brown, a former evangelical pastor and out gay man, runs Ambassadors & Bridge Builders International, which aims to educate churches and other organisations about faith and alternate sexualities.

Just how widespread is this unlicensed, unregulated and unpoliced meddling with people’s minds by ignorant, though no doubt sincere, amateurs? More than you think. Gay conversion therapy flies under the radar in Australia.

Finally, what can be done? Counsellor, therapists of all kinds can practice without any training, oversight or control. ‘Reparative’ therapists hide behind their religion: they claim to be acting out of compassion in helping people deal with ‘unwanted’ sexual attractions, not ‘converting’ them to heterosexuality.

But their language is all about homosexuality stemming from a persons innate heterosexuality being ‘broken’ and needing to be ‘healed’, or ‘repaired’.

The truth is, there is nothing ‘broken’ about homosexuality. It is these ‘reparative’ therapists who do the breaking – with tragic consequences.

About the author

Veteran gay writer and speaker, Doug was one of the founders of the UKs pioneering GLBTI newspaper Gay News (1972) , and of the second, Gay Week, and is a former Features Editor of Him International. He presented news and current affairs on JOY 94.9 FM Melbourne for more than ten years. "Doug is revered, feared and reviled in equal quantities, at times dividing people with his journalistic wrath. Yet there is no doubt this grandpa-esque bear keeps everyone abreast of anything and everything LGBT across the globe." (Daniel Witthaus, "Beyond Priscilla", Clouds of Magellan, Melbourne, 2014)