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Ex-Gay...Still Gay? Understanding Conversion Therapy and Proposed Legislation
Track: Raise Your Voice
Workshop Block 2 – Saturday, October 26 – 1:45 PM – 3:15 PM
Room: Jay McShann A
Ex-gay therapy is the pseudoscientific practice of any attempt to change one’s sexual orientation/gender identity from LGBTQ to heterosexual/cisgender using psychological or spiritual interventions. It is also known as conversion therapy or reparative therapy, and, most recently, reintegrative, therapy. Because there is no reliable scientific evidence that sexual orientation can be changed, it is considered ineffective and seriously harmful or deadly especially for minors. Attempts to ban the practice through legislation are happening all across the US, and there is a growing call for banning of conversion therapy practiced on minors in states and municipalities. While the effort to ban this practice is commendable, what is actually accomplished? Does it stop the practice? What is and is not accomplished through this legislation?
Joel B. Barrett, Joel Speaks Out
Joel Barrett is an LGBTQ writer, speaker and gatherer, and he is recognized for his honesty in sharing his story as a former Baptist pastor and survivor of ex-gay therapy. He has a unique ability to bring people together, and his message encourages everyone to live authentically, not controlled by fear and shame. Joel strongly believes in the power of the personal narrative to educate, enlighten and empower his audiences. Joel was a regular contributor to The Phoenix, a monthly publication for Kansas City’s queer community. He has produced and hosted two successful, monthly shows: Sexual Sunday School and OUTWords: LGBTQ Storytelling. Joel is a board member of the Mid-America LGBT Chamber of Commerce and has served on the board of the Transformations Youth Group. He is a frequent guest on panel discussions, interviews, podcasts, and broadcasts. His book Godly But Gay will be released in 2019.