“Can’t Convert Love” has become the rallying cry for one group of high school activists calling for an end to the use of gay conversion therapy on minors, and it’s getting louder by the day.
An upstart organization, “Can’t Convert Love” already counts activists in nine states among its ranks, and has amassed an impressive social media following and an outpouring of support since going public this week. All of that momentum driving towards one goal: the end of conversion therapy.
Straight-to-gay conversion therapy is the practice of seeking to change an individual’s sexuality, utilizing methods such as shaming, threats, emotional pressure, and occasionally shock and hormone therapy in an attempt to “convert” to heterosexuality.
Often, such therapy causes emotional trauma, and evidence that changes in sexual orientation has truly occured is very negligable, if existant at all. One of the most affected groups are LGBTQ youth. Virtually every major institute of behavioral medicine rejects conversion therapy as a legitimate medical practice, and opposes its use. The American Psychiatric Association’s position on the issue is clear, maintaining a firm stance on the subject: “The American Psychiatric Association opposes any psychiatric treatment, such as “reparative” or “conversion” therapy, which is based upon the assumption that homosexuality per se is a mental disorder, or based upon a prior assumption that the patient should change his/ her homosexual orientation.”
With the wave of recent LQBTQ rights victory, new scrutiny has come to the decades old practice. Exodus International, the most preeminent organization associated with conversion therapy for over 30 years, announced that it was to close its doors earlier this year. In addition, the states of California and New Jersey have banned recently banned its use.
“Every leading American medical association has denounced gay conversion therapy as faux-medicine and emotionally detrimental to an individual’s mental well-being,” says Can’t Convert Love Co-Executive Director Eve Zhurbinskiy, “yet only two states have acted to ban this horrid practice. This cannot stand.”
“Joining the movement is critical,” continues Zhurbinskiy,”We are going to need all the help we can get.” Several organizations, including the High School Democrats of America, have helped launch the budding organization, giving the Can’t Convert Love team the tools they need to lobby and advocate in an effective way.
“Getting involved is the best way to support the cause,” comments Co-Executive Director Bryce Coder “like Can’t Convert Love on facebook, follow @CantConvertLove on twitter. What we need most though, are people willing to be the boots on the ground. Message us, let us know your interested in fighting injustice, there are legislators to call, money to be raised, and a message to be spread.”