Due to new books and films like Boy Erased (written by Arkansas native Garrard Conley) and The Miseducation of Cameron Post, there has been a recent increase in the discussion around LGBTQ conversion therapy. Conversion therapy essentially tries to “de-gay” a person by changing their sexual orientation. In the past this has included “ex-gay” camps, electroconvulsive therapy, and administering shocks when aroused among other extreme measures. Today, most conversion therapy uses behavioral techniques much like cognitive behavioral therapy to attempt to change behavior or deny the expression of sexual feelings. In other words, it can look like regular therapy.
Many people think that LGBTQ identities and religion don’t mix but this is very far from the truth! Sure, many dogmatic religions can cause significant trauma to LGBTQ individuals with non-welcoming beliefs. However, there are many safe spiritual spaces for LGBTQ people.