Human sexuality is a gift. Within the human community, there are many natural expressions of this gift, made known through our sexual orientations, gender identities and/or expressions. To prescribe any other reality than this is detrimental to the wholeness of a human being. For centuries, religion, and even psychotherapy, has attempted to curtail, suppress and oppress human beings who identify as LGBTQIA by claiming that their sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression make them less than, deviant, abominations, broken, sinful, and abhorrent. Multiples diagnoses have been described and proscribed to minimize and generalize these gifted human beings as outside the norm of human behavior. This must stop.
Thankfully, psychiatry has come to recognize that mental health is made whole through recognition that one’s natural way of relating to the world and to humankind is as unique and wonderful as each person’s sexual orientation, gender identity and expression. Religion, unfortunately, lags far behind, continuing its horrific treatment toward the spiritual giftedness of these same people.
I urge the Virginia Board of Psychology to prohibit conversion therapy for minors. Our work as the human community is to honor and celebrate the gift of our human sexuality and its beautiful diversity of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression. By doing so, we will pave the way for our youth to embrace and celebrate who they are now, and watch as they become the extraordinary, gifted people they are meant to be.