Comment of the Day

Reader: "Converted" Gays Almost Always Convert Back

This week, the White House spoke out in favor of banning gay conversion therapy for those under the age of eighteen.

On the same day this statement surfaced, however, three Republican state senators combined to kill a Colorado bill that would have done the same thing here.

Plenty of folks were agog at the Colorado development judging by the comments that accrued on our article on the topic.

Here's a post by a reader who notes that gay conversion therapy's shortcomings are hardly a new discovery.

cvogel writes:
In the 1980's and 1990's, I researched the various (medical and religious) "therapies" to change homosexuality into heterosexuality for the Council on Homosexuality and Religion. We reviewed the existing literature, wrote or spoke to those who claimed to carry out these "therapies" (such as Charles Socarides, Masters and Johnson, Tim and Beverly Lahaye), collected tracts and other testimonies of having undergone these and spoke to wrote to those of their authors who were still available. This latter was the most revealing part; all reported that they continued to 'struggle', which is to say that they were not "ex" anything; their tracts were much more durable. The therapists, all of them, could put us in contact with no one, advising that they had 'lost contact' with all of their patients. It became clear that any from of conversion therapy was a failure, and the effect lasted, on average, only a few months. This explains why, then and now, there are very few "ex-gays" around at any one time. For example, on July 31, 2103, all of the (few remaining) "ex-gay" organizations called for a 'Mass Mobilization of Congress' in Washington. Despite months of preparation, they turned out a total of 6. Similarly, conventions and conferences held by such organizations seldom turn out more than one or two, and usually one or both are imports. It has also happened that all of the "ex-gay" organizations have had to shift their leadership away from "ex-gays" (who routinely have resigned to return to being gay) to heterosexuals. It may be unkind to say of those who claim to achieve, or to have undergone such conversions, that they are frauds, but that will be the judgement of history. That these ridiculous "therapies" are still promoted is evidence not of any success, but of the malice and willful ignorance of those who promote them.
Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts. For more memorable takes, visit our Comment of the Day archive.
KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts