I’m happy that Illinois has now outlawed this practice for people under the age of 18, but there is still much work to be done nationally.
“Despite its dangers, nearly 700,000 LGBTQ adults in the U.S.have been subjected to conversion therapy, according to a recent report by the Williams Institute at UCLA’s School of Law. The study also found that an estimated 20,000 children ages 13 and 17 will receive the treatment from a licensed medical professional. Some 57,000 LGBTQ youth will be “treated” by a religious or spiritual advisor.
My faith community was everything to me. I trusted this pastor to be my spiritual advisor, even as the things he said to me became more and more terrible and isolated me from friends and family. At one point he told me that the devil wanted me to be “full of AIDS” as if HIV/AIDS were a punishment for being gay. I spent two years under his strict control in Indiana—one of 37 states without laws to protect youth from this practice.”