Mike Pence must not be allowed to become the Vice President of the United States, a serious contender to replace Donald Trump should he step aside as the Republican candidate, or ever hold office again because he supports the abuse of children by supporting conversion therapy for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.
Even that bastion of liberalism packed with bleeding-heart liberals that is the American Medical Association, “[O]pposes, the use of “reparative” or “conversion” therapy that is based upon the assumption that homosexuality per se is a mental disorder or based upon the a priori assumption that the patient should change his/her homosexual orientation.”
For the record, being transgender has nothing to do with being homosexual. Being transgender and your gender identity is who you are and your sexual orientation is who you like to sleep with. What being transgender does have in common with homosexuality is that certain segments of the population wish we didn’t exist and those same people send their transgender children off to conversion therapy with lesbian, gay, and bisexual children.
While I was lucky enough to never get near conversion therapy, I have corresponded with and read accounts of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people who related the torture and brainwash techniques they endured. Every single one of them mention:
- Isolation from people other than their tormentors within a contained physical space
- Hostile shouting of repeated statements to accept or believe what is being shouted at them
- It happening over multiple sessions
- Frequent references to a Christian theological framework
- Verbal threats for non-acceptance or belief in the theological framework or what is being shouted at them
The first time I heard this list, I was instantly transported back to summertime to when I was 9 or 10 on the shores of Lake Sammamish at a Christian day camp, Sambica. Sambica’s vision is to, “[…] communicate the truth and claims of Christ, as expressed in Scripture, in a way that youth can understand.”
I guess I didn’t understand that being systematically verbally abused in a small beach bunk house by a bunch of predominately male 18-22 year-old Evangelical Christians is the way to accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, because I’m still an atheist. What I do understand is that it was child abuse, and abuse kills.
The suicide attempt rate for transgender people is 41%. Let that 41% statistic sink in. If they are harassed or bullied, the incidence rate jumps to 50% or more, (see page 11,) which is right around the fatality rate of Ebola. The 41% rate is already horrific enough when you compare it against the 3.35% U.S. average suicide rate, but when you consider that conversion therapy is harassment and bullying, it’s clear that people like Mike Pence are content to increase the likelihood children will kill themselves.
When you layer in the racism inherent in the presidential ticket he’s a part of, the facts of the average life expectancy of a black trans girl is 35 and the suicide rate for multiracial trans people is 54%, (see page 7) start to come into context. Mike Pence’s beliefs support the erasure of people from society that do not fit into his worldview.
By supporting conversion therapy, Mike Pence aides, abets, and supports the death of children. He must be stopped.
(If you like my writing and would like to support it, please consider purchasing my short story collection, A Cargo Cult of Memories.)