HRC Blog

I Thought God Hated Me

This guest post comes from Ryan Kendall. When Ryan was young, he was forced to undergo so-called “reparative therapy” – simply because he was gay. This is Ryan’s story:

I was a young teenager when my family learned I am gay.

My parents reacted harshly, and they decided to take me to a "therapist" – Dr. Joseph Nicolosi – who promised to stop me from being gay.

Nicolosi tried hard to convince me that something was fundamentally wrong with me. I almost believed him. After all, I was just a young kid.

This psychological abuse nearly destroyed my life, and for me, it resulted in drug abuse, homelessness, and thoughts of suicide that lasted a decade.

No child – no person – should have to endure this pain. And for the first time ever, right now in California, there's a bill sitting on the Governor's desk that would ban these fraudulent and harmful “ex-gay” interventions.

Act now: Governor Jerry Brown only has days left to make up his mind about this critical bill to stop the psychological abuse of LGBT youth. HRC will deliver the signed petitions to show that fair-minded Americans nationwide demand an end to this outdated, harmful practice.

Leading medical organizations agree that these practices are dangerous. But beyond that, we know that teaching a young LGBT person that he or she is defective is incredibly harmful.

Dr. Nicolosi is still inflicting this kind of child abuse, and he recently attempted to innocently explain to CNN that he's just "trying to bring out the heterosexuality" in his patients.

This practice hurts people, children, and families. It has no basis in fact, and it needs to end.

Now is the time for Governor Brown to send a strong message to LGBT youth all over the country: your lives are valuable and you are perfect the way you are. Act now.

I will never be able to fully undo the damage that this abuse has caused me, but together we can guarantee that no child has to live through this type of abuse again. I won't rest until this work is done, and I am asking for your help.

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