ADDED ON: 12/27/2018

I survived conversion therapy as a child. Now, I’m part of the movement to ban it for good.

12/27/2018 | USA Today

As a child undergoing conversion therapy in Florida in the early 2000s, I could never have imagined how different this nation would be nearly 20 years later. I could not have fathomed the power and hope inspired by the national debate and coast-to-coast enactment of laws designed to save thousands of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQ) youth from this dangerous and discredited practice each year. When I came out at the age of 11, I was met with physical abuse meant to scare me straight, and then taken to a counselor who told me I was an abomination in the sight of God.  I was told that, as penance, I was destined to be stricken with HIV and AIDS and persecuted by the government. The “treatment” continued for years, alternating between deeply shaming talk therapy and aversive physical techniques meant to destroy my desire to ever touch a man.

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