I am a resident of Arlington, VA, 22202. As a resident of the Virginia, I support a ban on conversion therapy. Converstion therapy is a dangerous and discredited practice aimed at changing their sexual orientation or gender identity. These dangerous and discredited practices are based on the false claim that being lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer (LGBTQ) is a mental illness that needs to be cured—a view with no scientific basis.
These practices are known to be extremely dangerous and can lead to depression, decreased self-esteem, substance abuse, and even suicide attempts. Conversion therapy is a harmful practice using rejection, shame, and psychological abuse to force young people to try and change who they are.
No young person should ever be shamed by a mental health professional into thinking that who they are is wrong. Mental health professionals should provide care that is ethical and affirming for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender young people.