My first week back at boarding school for my sophomore year, my father and stepmother came to pick me up to send me to rehab for being gay. I was admitted into a drug and behavioral facility for kids with eating disorders, drug problems and suicidal tendencies. I didn't belong there.
This week I found myself beginning to finally understand the concept of gay conversion therapy. I'd always thought that the idea was to "switch off" someone's sexuality and "teach" that person how to fancy the opposite sex. I was wrong.
If there is one thing that we learned from the Pacific Justice Institute's lawsuit against California Gov. Jerry Brown over a new law banning "ex-gay" therapy for minors, it is that these lawyers' legal case is as logic-challenged and convoluted as the industry they are poorly defending.
Dr. Robert Spitzer, considered by some to be the father of modern psychiatry, just made front page news when he apologized to the gay community, recanting a well-publicized 2003 study he had done supporting the use of reparative therapy to "cure" homosexuality.
The reparative therapy described in "Hiding Out" and my later related reportage chronicled torture practices that were coercive and, in many ways, the same as what was happening in the Iraqi torture sites: humiliation, isolation, extreme physical positions, and forced confessions.
Reparative therapy, which seeks to "cure" homosexuality, is a destructive form of consumer fraud, where avaricious practitioners try to profit off their victims by instilling a deep sense of shame and guilt. There is not one shard of evidence supporting such efforts.