President Obama responds to Leelah Alcorn’s suicide condemning conversion therapy

leelah whitehouse post
Make it right

President Obama has responded to the White petition “Enact Leelah’s Law to Ban All LGBTQ+ Conversion Therapy'”

“Tonight, somewhere in America, a young person, let’s say a young man, will struggle to fall to sleep, wrestling alone with a secret he’s held as long as he can remember. Soon, perhaps, he will decide it’s time to let that secret out. What happens next depends on him, his family, as well as his friends and his teachers and his community. But it also depends on us — on the kind of society we engender, the kind of future we build.”

— President Barack Obama

The official response while not calling for a federal Leelah Law supports actions at the state level. It reads in part.

“Thank you for taking the time to sign on to this petition in support of banning the practice known as conversion therapy.”

“Conversion therapy generally refers to any practices by mental health providers that seek to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Often, this practice is used on minors, who lack the legal authority to make their own medical and mental health decisions. We share your concern about its potentially devastating effects on the lives of transgender as well as gay, lesbian, bisexual, and queer youth.”

“As part of our dedication to protecting America’s youth, this Administration supports efforts to ban the use of conversion therapy for minors.”

Later noting:

“While a national ban would require congressional action, we are hopeful that the clarity of the evidence combined with the actions taken by these states will lead to broader action that this Administration would support.”

Leelah didn’t have to die, but even in her death her parents are in denial.

“Compassion” for Leelah was reparative therapy; therapy that apparently deepened her depression about not being able to live and express her female gender identity. Autumn Sandeen LGBT Weekly.

Narth Protest
The author protesting a 2007 NARTH conference in Fort Worth Texas.

Narth, a proponent of conversion therapy states on their website that “We call on our fellow mental-health association to stop falsely claiming to have “scientific knowledge” that settles the issue of homosexuality.”

They prostrate that gender variance and homosexuality is a reaction to childhood experiences which can be ‘cured’.

Reparative therapy, the more palatable term for conversion is still being inflicted on transgender youth today.

Equally distressing is who is doing this harm. One of the doctors who writes the DSM on gender diaspora has long practiced conversion therapy at his Toronto clinic.

Zucker is also a professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Psychology at the University of Toronto. He was named editor-in-chief of Archives of Sexual Behavior in 2001. In 2007, Zucker was chosen to be a member of the American Psychological Association Task Force on Gender Identity, Gender Variance, and Intersex Conditions, and in 2008 he was named chair of the American Psychiatric Association workgroup on “Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders” for the 2012 edition of the DSM-5. He previously served on workgroups for the DSM-IV and the DSM-IV-TV.

Leelah’s death as tragic as it was highlighted the harm being done the likes of Zucker. His conversion program was suspended by the clinic in the aftermath.

How many more transgender youth must die before a national law stops this deadly practice? We do not have time to wait on individual states to take action. Transgender youth are dying for no other reason than parents blinded by religions and zealots and narcissistic therapists.

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Kelli, Busey is managing editor at Planet Transgender



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