Is homosexuality a sin? A defect? A choice? An illness? Something that can be “cured”? That’s what a current movie explores.
The movie Boy Erased explores those questions. It is based on a memoir of the same name by Garrard Conley. He was outed to his fundamentalist Christian family shortly after entering college. His family, especially his minister father, then forced him to choose between being shunned by them or going to gay conversion therapy. The movie is not one of the greatest I’ve seen, but it presents an extremely important message. Fundamentalist religious attitudes toward homosexuality, especially conversion therapy, are very emotionally harmful. The movie or the book upon which it based may help you understand more about fundamentalist beliefs and conversion therapy.
Homosexuality is not a choice or an illness or a disorder or something to be cured. The American Psychiatric Association stopped considering homosexuality a mental illness in 1973 – more than 45 years ago. All prevailing mental health and medical professional organizations define conversion therapy as unethical, and a growing number of states and cities outlaw it. The only aspect of sexuality that justifies therapy is the abuse people receive for being homosexual. It is the criticism, rejection, denigration, condemnation, bullying, and violence that damages the person’s self-esteem and self-worth.
Gender and sexuality develop throughout gestation and are influenced by multiple factors (Gender may not be what you think). There is a wide range of variations that can develop. As people discover their own individual nature, they need love, support, and sometimes professional guidance, to accept themselves and be as healthy and happy as possible. They do not need to be told they are defective and need to cured,
It is time for conversion therapy for homosexuality to be banned throughout the United States. But that’s not enough. The ignorance, prejudice and superstition about homosexuality must be eliminated. Science (Science works) has corrected many mistaken religious beliefs – the earth is round and revolves around the sun, not a flat planet around which all other celestial bodies revolve; illnesses are caused by pathogens, not a punishing god; weather and natural disasters are caused by natural physical factors, not by a punishing god; humans and all other life forms evolved over millions of years, not by being created in a few days. Now sexual and gender variations need to be understood and accepted scientifically not through the beliefs of an ancient, pre-scientific, desert tribe (Faith is not truth).