Objection to involuntary gay-conversion therapy or voluntary

This may be more of a GQ question than GD, but I am confused about whether the societal objection to so-called gay-conversion therapy is only about involuntary conversion of gays to straight against their will, or whether it also involves an objection to gay-conversion for homosexuals who themselves voluntarily want to become straight.

The former is a totally understandable objection, but if the latter, is it that there is fear that gays could be involuntarily coerced into such therapy under a guise of “they want it?”

If sexual orientation is hard wired why would someone feel the desire to voluntarily change how they are wired if that particular wiring isn’t a danger to anyone else? I think if there is a mass of people voluntarily looking to change something that fundamental to who they are perhaps there is actually some pretty strong societal or family pressures that belie the notion that it’s actually a voluntary decision.

Then isn’t that"straight-splaining?" Because then it would be that a gay person says “I voluntarily want to become straight” but then is told, “No, you don’t actually want that, you’re saying that because of pressure from others, we know better than you what you really want?”

Or even if a gay person does feel pressure, doesn’t requiring them to stay gay also restrict them? It would be as if the world consists of blondes and brunettes, and blondes are considered better, and so a brunette wants to get her hair dyed blonde but is told “You can’t do that because you’re doing so because of societal pressure, not because of true voluntary desire.”

Honestly, I wasn’t super familiar with the details of this so-called therapy. After a bit of reading it seems like quackery.

Ever hear the phrase, “don’t be so open-minded your brain falls out?” This is where it would apply. It has nothing to do with “straight splaining”. The whole concept of reorientation therapy is indeed quackery as octopus said, and even if it was entered voluntarily, it has been shown to be downright harmful.

And nobody is “required to stay gay” (whatever the hell that means).

It’s possible to dye hair, it isn’t possible to turn a gay person into a straight one.

Yeah, it’s largely a question of fraudulent propaganda. If a gay individual wants to be heterosexual, for whatever reason, I might think there are some problems with that attitude but I wouldn’t try to dictate to them what they ought to want.

However, if a gay individual who wants to be heterosexual is unrealistically expecting that “gay conversion therapy” is likely to be effective in producing the desired result, they need to get their ignorance fought before they try to tackle getting their sexual orientation changed.

Your question is like asking if people object to involuntary or voluntary aura reading.

Since both are only practiced by scammers, and are both clearly woo, it’s a kinda a distinction without meaning.

Just because people are volunteering, doesn’t make it less a scam.

My opinion only, worth what you paid for it!

Seriously, plenty of gay people start out wishing they could be straight. Life would be so much less miserable if they could conform and not have to be bullied, beaten, outcast from their families, spurned by their church, ridiculed by random strangers. Why wouldn’t they want to be straight!

So, of course there’s gay people who might want to give gay conversion therapy a go. They haven’t yet found a better way to live than in the bosom of their bigoted environment.

Trouble is, gay conversion is bogus. If it has any effect at all, it will be to leave those taking part with increased feelings of failure and depression. It’s damaging, dangerous and should be banned, regardless of whether some gay people think it might be a route out of their current situation (which it isn’t).

No, I have met some people who have changed. It should be an option and even covered by insurance.

Thing is nobody really knows why people are gay or straight. There is no “gay gene” or DNA or anything like that. What I have been told is it’s a spectrum where say all straight is on the left, all gay is on the right, and bisexual is in the middle. People fall somewhere on that line. So it’s entirely possible for someone who identifies as straight to have some feelings for their own gender and same with gays. I see no reason if someone feels bad about their same sex attractions, that they should have the opportunity to explore where those feelings come from and attempt to reduce or eliminate them.

How do you actually know that they have “changed”, as opposed to just suppressing their actual sexuality just to fit in?

Are there any examples of conversion therapy where they only accept patients who have come to them 100% voluntarily? I doubt any would succeed. A big part of their business is young men under pressure from parents and church to become straight or else.

I wouldn’t outlaw such a thing, but I’d still disapprove, same as I would for Sylvia Browne type mediums. It’s sheer quackery preying on the ignorant. However, I wouldn’t stop people from voluntarily wasting their money. But no way in hell should government support it, financially or otherwise.

I think the OP needs to clarify what he is asking. There are two types of objections (at least):

  1. Conversion therapy is woo and I think people should avoid it. It doesn’t work.

  2. Conversion therapy is harmful and it should be illegal to offer it, at least under certain circumstances (e.g. for minors).

Which if these are you asking about?

If this is about California Assembly Bill 2943, that bill is simply an extension of existing law that prohibits outright scams and fraud. Gay-conversion therapy is, at best, a scam perpetrated on the gullible akin to snake oil, and at its worst, it’s actively harmful and not just fraudulent but comparable to medical malpractice. The right-wing hysteria over this bill is one of the most reprehensible gross misrepresentations I’ve seen in a long time, characterizing it as an “attack on churches” and an effort by godless heathen liberals to ban books and soon ban the Bible.

AFAICT most self-identified bisexuals don’t have much problem gravitating toward relationships that they feel good about, both attraction-wise and attitude-wise. After all, they are already familiar with feelings of attraction to individuals of either gender.

The problem is when people who only or mostly have feelings of attraction toward the same gender want to “convert” those feelings to apply to the opposite gender instead. That’s not like a bisexual individual deciding “You know what, I think I’d rather have the fish instead of the beef from now on.” That’s a highly fish-allergic, beef-loving individual desperately insisting “I need to change my nauseated throat-closing revulsion about fish into the sort of passionate delight I naturally feel about beef, while at the same time learning to hate beef into the bargain!” That sort of “desire transplant” tends to have a very, very poor success rate.

and messes with other people’s lives, as well.

This may need to be a separate question but do homosexuals feel the intense revulsion about heterosexual sex the same way a lot of heterosexuals feel about gay sex?

If you ask one, you may get that person’s take on the subject…but I’m reasonably certain there is no one answer that pertains to all gay people.

Yes, many of us do.

Going with this analogy, the equivalent would be if the dyeing process not only didn’t actually work converting a person to a blonde, but was actually very harmful to the health of the person. Then yes, we would outlaw it.