Reparative Therapy Essay

1240 words - 5 pages

Reparative, or reversal, therapy for homosexuality is a little discussed aspect of the anti-gay community. Programs such as NARTH (National Association of Research and Therapy for Homosexuality) or Exchange Ministries are organizations specifically aimed to change a person’s sexuality from homosexual to heterosexual. For as long as differing sexualities have been in the spotlight of public opinions people have been attempting to change those who identify as such. Some of the individuals who attend such programs choose to do so willingly. These are the people who are uncomfortable with their attraction to members of the same sex. They wish to repress their urges and live a heterosexual lifestyle. However the majority of those enrolled in these therapy sessions are teenagers who are forced into them by their parents. Often times these teenagers and young adults do not want to attend the programs, most are still trying to adjust to their sexuality. Still others have accepted who they are and simply do not want to change. Many of those who willingly attend reversal therapies claim to be cured or at least have reduced homosexual tendencies. The question is do these practices actually work? In short: No. They do not. Ask any one who has been through said treatments and they will recount a trying experience through which many of them barely survived.
One such case is that of Ryan Kendal. Mr. Kendal’s experience is possibly one of the most publicized accounts of the effects of reparative therapy in the last few years. Ryan was contacted by AFER (American Foundation for Equal Rights) to testify in the court case Perry vs. Schwarzenegger about his unsuccessful and damaging time in reparative therapy (Brydum). This case was to prove that Proposition 8, California’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. Mr. Kendal attended NARTH from the ages of fourteen to sixteen. His highly conservative parents forced him, like many teenagers, into attending therapy. While attending NARTH he did both phone sessions and in person therapies with Dr. Joseph Nicolosi in Encino, California (AFER). Although that original court case was closed to public viewing the American Foundation for Equal Rights produced a play entitled “8” recounting what, based on testimonies and public statements, happened to the best of their knowledge. The play was aired on March 3, 2012 and was also released on Broadway. The west coast reading contained big Hollywood names such as Brad Pitt, Jane Lynch, Mathew Morris, and Chris Colfer The character of Ryan Kendal was included in this play, although his stage time was under seven minutes his testimony was heart wrenching. The west coast reading cast the ever amazing, and openly gay, Chris Colfer in the part of Ryan Kendal. Chris is a 21-year-old actor, most know for portraying Kurt Hummel on Fox TV’s “Glee”. However has also been named one of People Magazine’s most influential people and earned a Golden Globe Award. When Kendal’s...

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