Gabriel Arana at The American Prospect has a remarkable essay today about his personal experiences with “ex-gay therapy.” It’s a deeply personal look at a disturbing political phenomenon:
Early in my freshman year of high school, I came home to find my mom sitting on her bed, crying. She had snooped through my e-mail and discovered a message in which I confessed to having a crush on a male classmate.
“Are you gay?” she asked. I blurted out that I was.
“I knew it, ever since you were a little boy.”
Her resignation didn’t last long. My mom is a problem solver, and the next day she handed me a stack of papers she had printed out from the Internet about reorientation, or “ex-gay,” therapy. I threw them away. I said I didn’t see how talking about myself in a therapist’s office was going to make me stop liking guys. My mother responded by asking whether I wanted a family, then posed a hypothetical: “If there were a pill you could take that would make you straight, would you take it?”
I highly recommend that you read the whole thing. It’s long, but absolutely fascinating.