What is Conversion Therapy?
Conversion therapy, or reparative therapy, is an attempt by a licensed therapist or otherwise to change someone's sexuality or gender identity. This practice has been labeled pseudoscience and harmful by every major mental health organization, and has been banned in many states and the District of Columbia.
Conversion therapy takes on many forms, and no two experiences are exactly the same. According to the SAMHSA report, those affected by conversion therapy are eight times more likely to attempt suicide, six times more likely to have high depression, three times more likely to use illegal drugs, and have three times the normal risk of HIV or STD infection. Many LGBTQIA+ minors are subjected to this practice against their will. It is estimated that nearly 700,000 individuals have gone through conversion therapy with nearly 350,000 being minors.
Conversion therapy leaves many individuals feeling isolated and broken with limited resources to help them. As a result of the isolating nature of conversion therapy, many survivors do not seek help due to fear of exposure, family pressure, and PTSD around mental health providers. Many cannot share their experiences without extreme emotional responses. The Conversion Therapy Dropout Network strives to bridge that gap between survivors and provide a support network through shared experience.