As a pastor, I have witnessed up close and personal the severe damage that conversion therapy causes those who experience it. I have counseled numerous LGBTQ individuals who struggle to recover from the trauma of conversion therapy, even decades after they received it. Some have told me stories of attempting suicide due to the pain and shame they were made to feel by well-meaning therapists. I can't adequately express how awful it is to watch faithful adults struggle to believe that they are beloved by God and their church because, in their youth, they were told otherwise and forced to try to deny who they are.
Please ban conversion therapy for minors in the Commonwealth of Virginia. It causes people life-long pain and trauma. It causes crises of faith, which sadly don't always heal. All too often, it's even deadly. We must do better for those who grow up in Virginia and everywhere for that matter.