Homosexual conversion therapy

TVNZ’s Sunday had an item on what is commonly referred to as gay conversion therapy in New Zealand. Mostly religious groups offer therapy that claims or implies people can be taught not to be homosexual.

Usual religious coercions like promising heaven for complying and threatening hell if the ‘sinning’ continues are used.

TVNZ: ‘Pray the gay away’ – Homosexual conversion therapy happening in NZ

Therapy is being offered to “cure” people who find themselves attracted to the same sex, where their attraction is contrary to their own religious beliefs.

TVNZ’s Sunday programme spoke with three gay men about the conversion therapy they’ve been through.

Undercover footage of this therapy, or “spiritual healing”, or “praying the gay away”, shows the claims being made about its potential to cure same sex attraction.

One therapist says: “Your attraction can absolutely be changed. We need to rewire your brain, and it is completely doable.”

Another therapist who Sunday spoke to undercover claims: “No one is born that way and so if that’s the case, it must be possible to change. Alcoholics change, thieves change, all sorts of people change.”

Of course once you’re dead there’s not much chance of complaining for being given false expectations or hopes.

But there’s a real chance of hellish suffering from guilt and failure while homosexuals are subjected to psychological mistreatment while they are alive.

It’s difficult to appreciate what it’s like for a homosexual person living in a disapproving environment, especially a religious one.

I think the best way of understanding what it might be like being a homosexual subject to conversion therapy is to imagine what it might be like as a heterosexual being given coercive therapy to turn you homosexual.

Or in the context of a political blog, as a right winger try to imagine what it might be like getting therapy that tries to convert you into a leftie, or as a left winger try to imagine a conversion to the right.

I’m neither so I can imagine what it would be like getting therapy for converting me to a fixed political belief (shudder).

It is unlikely to feel anywhere near as much as what homosexuals must experience, but trying to convert an innate sexuality must really risk causing severe difficulties for the subject (one of those interviewed came out of therapy and attempted suicide).

 

 

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67 Comments

  1. Kitty Catkin

     /  June 18, 2018

    I have known men who have sincerely wanted to change, and gone through something that sounds like this (I missed it, I forgot that it was on) called Exodus run mainly by two people called Heather and Harry. It was a failure in all cases.

    If being gay could be unlearned, it’s unlikely that anyone would be it in the first place, as with most people being straight, including (probably) their parents, they would have learned to be that ! Straight behaviour is all around, in life, in films, in books, in ads on television.

    The people who believe that it’s learned don’t seem to think of that, for some reason.

  2. Gezza

     /  June 18, 2018

    I watched that part of Sunday. All the therapists were religious nuts. They believe Christ can heal you of homosexuality if you pray hard enuf. Total bollocks of course. Trying to persuade someone gay to be celibate is their measure of a cure.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  June 18, 2018

      Try converting a straight person to gayness and see how you get on ! Fundies believe that this happens, but it seems highly unlikely. I am not talking about people who have gay sex for a thrill, of course, but who are really straight.

      I can think of 5 men whom I know who went through Exodus, all really wanted to change. It was a failure for all of them, and these were people who badly wanted to change.

      I wish that I’d seen it. Was it Exodus ?

      One man was persuaded to have a relationship with a girl and did. What a disaster, I didn’t like the girl, but pitied her with all my heart when the inevitable happened. Imagine having to tell your parents that when you finally get a boyfriend (she knew that he’d been gay, but I think was desperate to be in a relationship and marry) that it’s over…and try to avoid saying why.

      • Gezza

         /  June 18, 2018

        Yes I think one of them, an old coot, was with Exodus Global Alliance, an offshoot of Exodus International. It’s a US-based Christian organisation that disbanded & apologised for its gay conversion therapy bullshit in 2013.

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  June 18, 2018

          I thought that it had, but it has what seems to be a current website

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  June 18, 2018

            Yes, it has !

            Have a look and tell me what you think !

            • Gezza

               /  June 18, 2018

              Yes, sorry Kitty, see below. What I mean is Exodus Global Alliance was formed out of Exodus International – but Exodus International shut down when they recognised their Christian Therapy was total bollocks and didn’t work.

          • Gezza

             /  June 18, 2018

            The Exodus Global Alliance was formed out of Exodus International in 1995 and continues to operate in support of Exodus networks outside of the United States.
            ….
            On May 28, 2013, Exodus International withdrew from the Exodus Global Alliance. On June 19, following a vote of the seven member Board of Directors at the organization’s annual meeting in Irvine, California, the board of directors announced the impending closure of Exodus International.

            Exodus International President Alan Chambers said that the board made the move “after a year of dialogue and prayer about the organization’s place in a changing culture.” Alan Chambers repudiated one part of the organization’s mission in a nearly hour-long talk at Exodus International’s 38th annual meeting:

            I am sorry for the pain and hurt many of you have experienced. I am sorry that some of you spent years working through the shame and guilt you felt when your attractions didn’t change. I am sorry we promoted sexual orientation change efforts and reparative theories about sexual orientation that stigmatized parents.

            Wikipedia

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  June 18, 2018

              Exodus Ministries NZ is still going, I wonder if they are the same with a small name change, It’s an old, old dodge, Wheely Cars goes bust, reopens as Wheely Auto.

            • Gezza

               /  June 18, 2018

              Yes, they will be carrying on the pointless prayer and belief that in a year or maybe two years, if you pray hard enough, Christ will fix you. That’s what this old coot was saying – you can watch the program – it’s in the linked article in PG’s post.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  June 18, 2018

              The Exodus Ministries is current but very cagey about what they do and can achieve,

            • Gezza

               /  June 18, 2018

              The old coot’s answer to how does god do it was incredulity that anyone could even ask that because everyone knows that God works in mysterious ways.

    • David

       /  June 18, 2018

      ” Total bollocks of course. ”

      It’s no more or less bollocks than being a woman simply because you identify as one.

      • Gezza

         /  June 18, 2018

        They’re quite different things. Are you gay David?

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  June 18, 2018

          Harry is still around, describing his work with Exodus as helping people to ‘escape sexual deviancy’.

        • David

           /  June 18, 2018

          “They’re quite different things. ”

          lol.

          “Are you gay David?”

          I’m not wealthy enough to be gay.

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  June 18, 2018

            How wealthy do people have to be in order to be gay, forsooth ?

            It’s free to be gay !

            • David

               /  June 18, 2018

              Wealthy enough to be a dapper dresser, and support all the grooming required.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  June 19, 2018

              You can’t think that all well-dressed men are gay !!!

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  June 19, 2018

              I wish that you could meet some of the gay men I know.

              They, oddly enough. look and dress like anyone else, and dapper is the last word that I would use of them, even in the sense in which you are using it.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  June 19, 2018

              What a bargain to have an appointment with David Riddell, a mere $172.50.

            • David

               /  June 19, 2018

              Every group has it’s outliers…but I don’t see the point of being gay without the snappy dressing.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  June 19, 2018

              You are presenting a cliched vision of gay men and not allowing for them to be as individual as everyone else.

            • Zedd

               /  June 19, 2018

              ‘I wish that you could meet some of the gay men I know.’ sez kitty

              I thought you were a female ? What are you telling us ??

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  June 19, 2018

              That I happen to know some gay men, of course, as well as a few lesbians. I don’t like people because they are gay, I despise fruitflies. Who doesn’t ?

  3. Kitty Catkin

     /  June 18, 2018

    I see that one bank has an ad with what looks like a lesbian couple with a baby; the one who hasn’t had it is too young to be the grandmother. Fundies must be reeling and writhing and fainting in coils at the one with the two fathers of some lucky baby who looks happy and loved.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  June 18, 2018

      I’ve just seen another bank ad with a gay couple who want to start a family. I like the way that these things are seen as ordinary. Which they are.

  4. David

     /  June 18, 2018

    If gender is fluid, then very clearly sexuality can be changed also.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  June 18, 2018

      Have you ever known a gay person who changed to a straight ?

      What do you mean by gender being fluid ?

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  June 18, 2018

        I know that a small number of people are betwixt and between, but most people aren’t.

      • David

         /  June 18, 2018

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genderqueer

        “Have you ever known a gay person who changed to a straight ?”

        Have you ever known a man who changed to a woman?

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  June 18, 2018

          Yes, several. I knew one ‘Jane’ quite well.

          I was also acquainted with Carmen.

        • Gezza

           /  June 18, 2018

          Not sure what connection this has to homosexuality David.
          Gender identity’s another matter altogether.

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  June 18, 2018

            Some people confuse the two things, If Jane had wanted to be a gay man, she’d have simply come out. She had never felt right as a man, despite being married and having children. So she finally decided to stop living a lie. She was totally convincing as a woman, not over the top like a drag queen. She never wore makeup or high heels, she was just herself.

          • David

             /  June 18, 2018

            “Not sure what connection this has to homosexuality David.
            Gender identity’s another matter altogether.”

            Seriously? Who you fuck is a lifestyle choice. Your gender is a matter of biological fact. Yet, it seems the former is fixed in stone. but the later is ‘fluid’.

            • Gezza

               /  June 18, 2018

              Seriously? Who you fuck is a lifestyle choice.
              Christ! You are abysmally uniformed about homosexuality. Are you a member of any religious sect David?

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  June 18, 2018

              I would think that very few gays would be attracted to gay sex or straights to gay sex.

              Sex is the result of attraction, surely, for the most part.

            • Gezza

               /  June 18, 2018

              Man, I’m happy to be heterosexual. Who’d want to suffer all the stresses and complications of being homosexual. But the simple fact is some people are. They are sexually attracted only to the same sex.

            • David

               /  June 18, 2018

              “Who’d want to suffer all the stresses and complications of being homosexual.”

              If you have spend any time in gay bars you would realise that gay sex is neither stressful, nor complicated.

            • David

               /  June 18, 2018

              “Christ! You are abysmally uniformed about homosexuality. ”

              I’m going to say this again, who you fuck is a choice.

              “Are you a member of any religious sect David?”

              Simply one of logic.

            • Gezza

               /  June 18, 2018

              If you have spend any time in gay bars you would realise that gay sex is neither stressful, nor complicated.

              If you much spend time in normal bars, especially late, you soon would realise that getting straight sex is neither stressful nor complicated.

              People who are gay go to gay bars because it’s easy to find gay people there who are looking for sex. Not all gay people go to gay bars looking for gay sex. Not all gay people even go to gay bars, but it’s safer to go to those than it is to ordinary ones full of drunk homophobes.

              I’m interested in why you’re so homophobic & so horribly misinformed about homosexuality. Are you religious, David?

            • Gezza

               /  June 18, 2018

              I’m going to say this again, who you fuck is a choice.

              Well, obviously, but one hopes you don’t simply fuck whoever you choose to if it’s not their choice as well. That won’t end well.

              The point is, one’s choice of who one fucks is limited by who or what one is sexually attracted to and thus feel the urge to fuck and form relationships with. And with homosexuals that is a person of the same gender.

              Do you understand this?

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  June 19, 2018

              Any kind of bar would hardly be a good place to form an opinion about a particular group.

              You have such a delicate way of putting things, Gezza.

            • David

               /  June 19, 2018

              “People who are gay go to gay bars because it’s easy to find gay people there who are looking for sex. Not all gay people go to gay bars looking for gay sex. Not all gay people even go to gay bars, but it’s safer to go to those than it is to ordinary ones full of drunk homophobes.”

              Of course, there is grindr now.

              “I’m interested in why you’re so homophobic & so horribly misinformed about homosexuality. Are you religious, David?”

              I am neither homophobic nor religious. Quite how you leap to these conclusions is baffling to me.

            • David

               /  June 19, 2018

              “The point is, one’s choice of who one fucks is limited by who or what one is sexually attracted to and thus feel the urge to fuck and form relationships with. And with homosexuals that is a person of the same gender.”

              Are you saying this is a fixed thing and can never be changed? That has implications that will be interesting.

              “Do you understand this?”

              I’m not sure you understand the implications at all.

            • Gezza

               /  June 19, 2018

              @ Pink David
              Oh. Ok.
              So, do you think homosexual men make a choice to be sexually attracted to men instead of sexually attracted to women? That they could just as easily choose to be sexually attracted to women?

            • David

               /  June 19, 2018

              “So, do you think homosexual men make a choice to be sexually attracted to men instead of sexually attracted to women? That they could just as easily choose to be sexually attracted to women?”

              No I do not.

            • Gezza

               /  June 19, 2018

              Are you saying this is a fixed thing and can never be changed? That has implications that will be interesting

              For people already wired that way, yes. In the future, if a precise cause can be established & the child’s sexual orientation be normalised to male-female attraction before it develops, possibly not.

              What are the implications for the future that you speak of?

              Do you think homosexual people can be changed to heterosexual people presently by
              1. entreaties to deities, or
              2. some other form of physical or psychological therapy?

            • Griff

               /  June 19, 2018

              If you have spend any time in gay bars you would realise that gay sex is neither stressful, nor complicated.

              Pursuing this thread one could wonder why conservatives have such detailed knowledge of gay mating rituals.

            • Gezza

               /  June 19, 2018

              I’m not sure what he’s going on about. I suspect he isn’t either.

  5. Kitty Catkin

     /  June 18, 2018

    Well, this is an interesting discussion.

  6. Corky

     /  June 18, 2018

    Been to gay clubs a few times. The first time in the toilets was a shock. The smell is something you will never forget. Only second to the smell of death in my opinion.

    But it was the ‘glory holes’ that rattled a naive straight boy to his very core.

    What has this to do with Homosexual conversion therapy? Well, my experiences have kept me ‘straight’ all my life. Never had one gay thought.

    • Gezza

       /  June 19, 2018

      Good on you for checking out whether it might have any appeal I suppose. Never had one gay thought either but I was never curious enuf or felt the need enuf to see whether anything might induce any of like you.

      • Corky

         /  June 19, 2018

        The experience was courtesy of my gay rellies. I can’t help but think they had told everyone to be gentle with me…being from the provinces . I even had a bull-queer explain what a ”glory hole” was. The was a seminal moment.

        • Corky

           /  June 19, 2018

          *That*

        • Blazer

           /  June 19, 2018

          do you mean ‘semenal’ moment.Bol.

        • Gezza

           /  June 19, 2018

          I don’t have any gay rellies, none that I know anyway. Which now I think about it is interesting in itself. I’ve had several gay acquaintances, all met at work. Mostly lesbians but I was quite friendly for a while with one gay guy who shared my interest in history. I had some fairly detailed conversations with him about his sexual orientation.

          He proferred the view one day early on that he wondered if maybe everyone had a level of sexual attraction to the same sex but for the vast majority of people it was like 90% attraction to the opposite sex, and maybe 10% attraction to the same.

          We were walking up Lambton Quay heading back from having a pub lunch at the time. It was Summer & lots of 20 to 30 somethings were all out on the street in their skimpy outfits and low cut tops & I just quietly pointed out all the women that I thought were seriously sexually attractive & did he feel ANY kind of attraction at all.

          He didn’t. Absolutely none. But then a couple of male lunchtime joggers ran by, little running shorts, muscular, tanned, shirts off – enjoying the turning heads from the 20 to 30 somethings in the skimpy outfits. And George said, now those two I could really go for. Don’t you think in some situations you might perhaps feel some sort of attraction towards one of them.

          And I mean, I actually thought about it & I said no. I wouldn’t mind looking like that – I’d pull sheilas Iike a magnet, but nup. Absolutely zero attraction. The whole idea leaves me utterly cold, turns me right off actually.

          I didn’t mind him being gay but I realised I’m definitely not & I can never recall ever having any feelings of sexual attraction to any male & I know I never will. But I’m strongly attracted to women when I allow myself to be. And that’s exactly how he is with men. And the idea of sex with a woman leaves him cold & revolts him.

          That’s what it means to be gay.

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  June 19, 2018

            I was told what a glory hole was by a gay friend. Someone had a very nasty surprise when the person on the other side bit it off.

            A university acquaintance told us that he was once in a men’s loo where there was a hole in the wall, and he suddenly realised that an eye was there. He later regretted that he hadn’t had the presence of mind to pee in it.

  7. Zedd

     /  June 19, 2018

    I saw a news item.. a devout christian group, also claimed they ‘could cure homosexuality’, by using electric-shock treatment. They showed naked pictures of men & women & if they ‘got aroused’ by looking at same sex, they got a severe shock.. reportedly some ‘were cured’ ?

    • Zedd

       /  June 19, 2018

      ‘believe it or not..’ :/

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  June 19, 2018

        I have heard of that, but not seen it.

        NB, I do indeed believe in a creator God, but hate what some people do in His name. I can’t believe that God would grudge a local doctor and his partner their love and life together,

        • Zedd

           /  June 19, 2018

          kitty

          the bible does condemn ‘men lying with men..’
          but thats a decision these folks will have to answer for ‘judgement day’ so its just a moot point

          Im no expert.. but I do think sexual preference seems to be a chemical & dna thing.. more than a choice. I choose to strum my guitar.. but other things are ‘built in’

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  June 19, 2018

            I know that it does, in Leviticus. But it also condemns many other things that nobody would condemn today.

      • Blazer

         /  June 19, 2018

        shocking!

        • Zedd

           /  June 19, 2018

          shocking! sez BlzR

          in deed.. but likely not a buzz

      • Corky

         /  June 19, 2018

        Like the scene in Clockwork Orange were Alex gets similar therapy while his eyes are forced open.