Oklahoma State Representative Sally Kern (R) has introduced a bill to officially change the name of the state from Oklahoma to Okernhoma. Kern stated, "By putting my name in the state's name, the people in our great state will be reminded that my opinions are more important than any one person's individual rights."
As far as equal rights have come in the last few years, up to a third of LGBTQ people are still subjected to "conversion therapy," among the most damaging forms of psychological abuse a person can endure. Conversion therapy encompasses a range of dangerous and discredited practices aimed at changing a person's sexual orientation or gender identity.
Though the prospect of salvation seemed to brim with promise at the time, I was completely unaware of how much psychological damage the "treatment" would inflict upon me. I was blinded by insecurity, inexperience, and the fact that I'd finally met others who genuinely seemed to understand my feelings of isolation.
When Ryan Kendall, a young gay man living in Denver, heard the news back in 2008 that the California Supreme Court had ruled in favor of the freedom to marry, he reached out to us, and we soon learned that, as a 14-year-old boy, he had survived brutal so-called "conversion" therapy to change his sexual orientation.