Ban considered for controversial conversion therapy

President Obama has called for a ban to the controversial and widely discredited practice of conversion therapy

Francisco Dominguez, Reporter

Nine million.

That’s the estimated amount of gay adults who live in the United States according to the Williams Institute.

Although the United States is known for supporting equality for all, the gay community has not been accepted fully. Members of the LGBT community are some of the most discriminated people, as reflected in the number of suicides to come out as gay.

According to The Trevor Project, “LGB youth are 4 times more likely, and questioning youth are 3 times more likely, to attempt suicide as their straight peers.”

The rejection – or at least, lack of full acceptance – from society of the LGBT community causes many unnecessary deaths, but there are experts who believe that there is a solution. That solution is conversion therapies.

Conversion therapies are designed to convert people from gay to straight. Although this is a controversial method, many doctors and organizations say it works. Many of these organizations see being gay as something that person chose to be, not something that they were born with.

“I did a research on conversion therapy,” Soraida said. “To be honest, I couldn’t allow myself to give permission to be evaluated as if I was a lab rat. Straight folks will not be able to understand the full function of experiences as a homosexual.”

Soraida is a former lesbian. She no longer identifies as a lesbian, but she never went through conversion therapies. She believes, for the most part, that a person is not born gay, but becomes gay.

“I cannot speak for everyone. The truth is, I personally was not born gay, though many claimed they were,” Soraida said. “I don’t remember who, when, where, why and how I was effected in such a way of thinking, emotions, feelings, and physical attraction of the same gender.”

According to, a non-profit organization that helps ex-gays find “hope and community.” Furthermore, the organization claims that “sexual orientation is a matter of self-affirmation and public declaration. ‘Gay’ is a self-chosen identity.”

Over time, conversion methods have changed. According to, during the 1950s and 60s doctors would force patients to masturbate the opposite sex. They would also inject patients to induce vomiting. Although the old methods are no longer practiced, the new ones remain controversial.  Some of the new methods include hypnosis, aversion therapy and group therapy.

Although Soraida agrees with some of the beliefs that conversion therapy institutions have such as not being born gay, she still does not agree with conversion therapy as a method of “coping” with being gay.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, conversion therapy is not the way to go when trying to cope with being gay.

“Conversion therapy – sometimes known as reparative or “sexual reorientation” therapy – is a dangerous practice based on the premise that people can change their sexual orientation, literally “converting” from gay to straight,” the site says. “Conversion therapy has been discredited or highly criticized by virtually all major American medical, psychiatric, psychological and professional counseling organizations.”

Recently, president Barack Obama called for a ban on conversion therapy. In addition, a petition was started on asking for the support of the American people to ban conversion therapy.

Although Soraida did convert, she did it through faith and not through treatment. She is a firm believer in the teachings of God. To her, God loves everyone in the same way whether straight or gay.

“As a true follower of Jesus Christ, we are not here to convert anyone and force or pressure to change a person, instead we are here to share how God loves them unconditional,” Soraida said.