‘Severe Psychological Distress’
A massive new study of more than 27,000 people finds “conversion therapy” is linked to attempts of suicide and thoughts of suicide. Proponents of the dangerous pseudo-science and religious practice say it can change a gay person into a straight person, or a transgender person into a cisgender person. Not only is there no proof it works, those who popularized the practice have come to denounce it.
Dr. Jack Turban, the new study’s lead author says it is the first “to show that gender identity conversion efforts are associated with adverse mental health outcomes, including suicide attempts,” NBC News reports.
“What this new study shows is that transgender people who are exposed to conversion efforts anytime in their lives have more than double the odds of attempting suicide compared with those who have never experienced efforts by professionals to convert their gender identity,” the study’s co-author Dr. Alex Keuroghlian added.
Young transgender people are especially at risk and vulnerable, and conversion therapy can have a life-long negative affect. The study shows trans people aged 10 and under who undergo conversion therapy are four times more likely to attempt suicide at some point in their lives than those who did not.
In 2014 transgender teenager Leelah Alcorn committed suicide, leaving behind a note that auto-published to her Tumblr page. In it she described what it was like for her to be transgender, and the lack of support she says she received. She also clearly blamed her parents for sending her to a Christian therapist who allegedly practiced conversion therapy.
“My mom started taking me to a therapist,” she said, “but would only take me to christian therapists, (who were all very biased) so I never actually got the therapy I needed to cure me of my depression. I only got more christians telling me that I was selfish and wrong and that I should look to God for help.”
Her final words in her note were, “Fix society. Please.”
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