Outlawing Options

Outlawing Options

On March 4, I flew to Boston to testify at the Massachusetts’ capital hearing regarding the proposed bills H.140/S.70, which if passed, would ban conversion therapy.   My reasons for going were very personal and close to my heart. I feel strongly that the ban on conversion therapy for minors would greatly hinder much needed holistic care that health-care professionals can offer to children who question their sexual identity and orientation.   Many states desire to ban conversion therapy because it has been labeled harmful.And in fact, some of the examples of “conversion therapy” described in the hearings included such harmful practices as electric shock therapy, exposure to pornography, forced separation from loved ones, and extreme public shaming. However, the greater health-care community, including those with faith-based practices, already considers these methods barbaric and unethical. Blasted by the media, this kind of “conversion therapy” has become a straw man, erected with the intent of advocating one sided and biased counseling methods that support an ideology that sexuality is completely fixed.   But do not be misinformed. The proposed legislation in Massachusetts (and similar bills being proposed elsewhere) is about much, much more than protecting children from shock therapy and other ill-favored practices. These bills define “conversion therapy” in such a way as to prohibit any health-care professional from therapeutically questioning a minor’s sexual orientation or desire to transition gender.  Under this law, a health-care professional could have their license suspended for doing anything other than affirming a minor’s feelings of same-sex attraction or perceived gender identity. Furthermore, if passed, these laws would threaten parental rights. If a child’s physician prescribes medications, such as...
Why I Chose to Stand with Others

Why I Chose to Stand with Others

As soon as we walked out of the hotel’s conference room that was adjacent to the California State Capital, I was immediately intimidated. As someone who prides herself on not cowering to the opinions of others, this surprisingly stretched me. When we walked into the Capitol with black t-shirts on that said in white text “changed” on the front and “oncegay.com” on the back, there was no turning back. We stepped out as a unified team to voice our concerns. Thirty something people, many from California, but also from other states. All different stories and stages of life. All there to say our lives are not fraudulant. The Capitol was packed with protestors for various bills that would be voted on the following day. It was surreal walking into a government building and being met by many other groups, in their own custom t-shirts and signs, protesting all sorts of things. It was particularly intimidating when those in various groups turned their attentions off of gathering for their cause, and began to jeer at our group that was quietly walking up to the Senator’s offices. I can only liken what I experienced at that moment to the bullying I often endured as a kid. Like when I would be bullied as I played sports. When I would walk into the school gym only to be met by guys hurling insults at me about my weight as I walked by in my snug uniform. When I was there to be a part of a team but was assaulted by comments about my appearance. Childish ignorant hateful banter. That’s the best...