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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » 'Curing' sexuality

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Author Topic: 'Curing' sexuality
Member # 42795

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I recently found out that my new dorm mate in college is Christian and pro-'curing' gay people. I am not going to go into just how angry and upset and shocked I am about that, because I have to live with her for the next year and I'm really trying to like her, regardless of the fact we may disagree on certain things; also, once I start to talk about it, I will end up ranting. The topic has not yet come up in conversation, if it will at all, but it did make explaining to her the fact I am not straight an initially terrifying and retrospectively interesting experience.

Really, I just wanted to know more about this. Is there any proof that anyone can be 'cured' of their sexuality, or have it altered in any way? Do you ever get people who do it willingly? Do you ever get straight people who want to get 'cured'? And how is it done? I suppose I just want to be more informed, so if I ever encounter these opinions in conversation, I will have something more factual to base my response on than my current mle of emotions, and I am intrigued to see how people can think this could be a good thing.

Posts: 23 | From: UK | Registered: May 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Member # 37835

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Nope, it really isn't possible to "cure" someone of their sexuality. Programs that try to "cure" people in this way generally just make people repress a whole lot of feelings and end up pretty unhappy.

And sure, there are plenty of people who think that homosexuality is such a sin that they'd love it if someone could cure them of it. It definitely happens.

I don't know how many pointers I have for actually discussing this with her (I tend to be bad at those conversations. Particularly since the law passed in California--my home state--outlawing gay marriage, it's just too sensitive of a topic for me. I start yelling and crying). BUT, perhaps a dorm party where you show But I'm a Cheerleader is in order.

Posts: 2262 | From: in transition | Registered: Apr 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Member # 33665

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Well, I think it's important to analyze what people are saying when they talk about "curing" homosexuality. They are saying that any orientation other than heterosexual is a result of an illness or a disease, and thus the person needs to be cured so they can return to their view of "healthy," which is heterosexual. Just looking at that, really dissecting it, I'm having a hard time holding down my dinner. Honestly, people who believe such absurd crap are not going to be the kind of people you can hold rational discussion with. For one thing, they don't seem to think very logically, otherwise they'd realize how fallacious (and just plain stupid) their argument is.

I understand it hurts and hurts a lot to hear things like that, and it's likely their intention to hurt you, whatever excuse they may stand behind. I go to a Catholic college, but the majority of the people there are not at all like that. In fact, they're pretty open and accepting, even among the very religious students. I don't think I've ever heard someone talk of trying to "convert" someone to heterosexuality. Of course, there are a few students who are still living in the Dark Ages, but they are few.

I'm sorry you have had to hear such insensitive and bigoted comments. You might consider talking to your resident advisor about the situation and ask if you can change roommates. You shouldn't have to live with someone who treats you like that. Of course, this is your choice, but I wanted to let you know that there are other options here for you so you don't have to put up with her treatment.

Are there any GLBT organizations on campus that you can get involved in? It can help to be a part of an organization both to get some emotional support and to brainstorm ways of dealing with those kinds of situations in college. I'm sure there are other people dealing with similar issues from their classmates, and they may have some good advice for how they've dealt with it in the past.

Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.--Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Posts: 2726 | From: North America | Registered: Apr 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 42795

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Oh my God, I phrased all that quite badly, I've just realised...

She hasn't been abusive to me in the slightest - explaining my sexuality to her was terrifying because of what I was afraid she would say to me, and interesting because of how evidently shocked but controlled she was. The fact she may think that way about me, or some of my gay friends (or indeed gay people in general) is what hurts and makes me angry. I think it would almost be easier to sort out in my head if she was being abusive, because she's totally lovely and I find that really incompatible with this idea of curing sexuality.

And yeah, I am involved with the Gender, Sexuality and Sexual Health group in my college - a couple of people in that have been really supportive, so it's not like I'm totally on my own in the slightest [Smile] .

And this is not something I'm interested in in a practical sense, but out of curiousity, what are the methods generally used to 'cure' people of their sexuality? And orca, I can utterly empathise with your initial response to people who hold it as a good idea. That's why the situation has impacted me so strongly.

Posts: 23 | From: UK | Registered: May 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 44376

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They used to use electric shock therapy to "cure" homosexuals. Thank god those days are gone. I think. There's probably some sicko still doing that.

I think nowadays it's all about prayer and exorcism.

Unfortunately you and I and other people in their right minds will have to put up with people with such narrow minded views because they are often very stubborn and very hard to change. [Frown]

If she makes any comments just be clear and confident in your response. Don't get angry or upset - just let her know that you're not interested in her views on that particular subject and that you'd appreciate it if she didn't mention your sexuality.

Or something like that ^_^
Good luck tolerating her.

Posts: 16 | From: UK | Registered: Oct 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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