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The Procrustean Society: Reparative Therapy

English: Cynthia Nixon at the 2009 Tribeca Fil...

English: Cynthia Nixon at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival for the premiere of An Englishman in New York. Photographer’s blog post about the event at which this photo was taken. The photographer dedicates this portrait to Wikipedia editor Moni3, for amazing article contributions, troll-fighting, development of the LGBT project and for outstanding community skills. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Liberty Counsel and others are making a big deal out of something that we already know. Sexuality is fluid. In truth, most people are not straight or gay, but fall somewhere in the bisexual range. That is something that we, as a society, do not want to admit to because it breaks the boxes we like to put people into.

Studies and anecdotes have shown that sexuality can change over time. For instance, Meredith Baxter recently came out as lesbian after a lifetime of identifying as straight, and being largely straight. The opposite can certainly be true as well. Then there was the controversy over Anne Heche being at first straight, then lesbian, then straight again. In recent months, we have also heard from Cynthia Nixon and Gillian Anderson about being bisexual, but falling on opposite sides of the divide.

Reparative therapy is one of the things that is designed to forced people into the little Procrustean box that society says is what they should be. It is a way of torturing minds and making people unhappy and upset because they have a natural attraction to people of the same sex.

There are individuals who have changed their sexuality, but none of the ones who undergo reparative therapy tend to be the ones who do so. Typically, these are people who are either sexually fluid or whose sexuality was harmed due to psychological trauma. The aim of reparative therapy is often to make the person ashamed of their sexuality and force them to stop being gay that way. They are taught to hate themselves, and that leads to psychological problems.

At the heart of reparative therapy is the attempt to force people into the role that society has traditionally assigned the sexes. It is based on a problematic understanding of human nature, and an unwillingness to even consider what is supposedly immoral about homosexuality or even why it could be considered a sin. It is not based upon sociology or psychology, but rather, upon a willful desire to hurt people and force them to be other than who they are.

In arguing about banning reparative therapy, the questions must be asked about why someone thinks homosexuality is wrong, and why they want to psychologically hurt people by denying them the right to love whom they want so long as it is consensual and does no harm.

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