Thursday, 2 February 2012

Do I Support Ex-Gay Therapy? I Think I Do But Widdecombe's Still Wrong.

Feels like Twitter storm is brewing over Ann Widdecombe's latest comments on homosexuality. In the Express (better bedfellows you could not find!) she has voiced support for allowing "unhappy gays" to seek ex-gay therapy following the Patrick Strudwick's (one of my least favourite left-wingers) entrapment of a therapist offering this service upon request.

You know what? I agree with her.

First a few provisos:

1) I don't think ex-gay therapy works.
2) I think it can be very damaging especially to the self-esteem of young LGB people  (as can it's anti-trans equivalent)
3) I can't for the life of me understand why a grown adult would have a problem with being gay but that's my own bias I suppose.
4) No one should be forced to attend ex-gay therapy by anyone else (I'm looking at you parental types out there).

But... if someone is desperately unhappy being gay and believes ex-gay therapy will help them, who are we to stop them doing so of their own freewill? So there you go, case closed. Etc.

Except... where Widdecombe's argument stumbles is on the example she has used. For if one wishes to be accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, then one should follow their requirements for that accreditation. Lesley Pilkington failed to do this, and thus hasn't really got a defense. There's nothing actually stopping ex-gay therapists operating nor stopping "unhappy gays" seek therapy.

So what was Ann Widdecombe's point again? Oh yes, we're all picking on Christians and not Muslims and that is simply not fair!

It's nice to know she never changes. Good ol' Ann, mad as a hatter as always.

If you feel benevolent and particularly generous, this writer always appreciates things bought for him from his wishlist

1 comment:

Paul Brownsey said...

I agree with your basic point, Jae. I got howled down on the Pink News web-page for saying it, but it seems to me that if someone comes to a doctor saying, "Look, I am utterly miserable being gay. I desperately want to be straight and marry and have kids in the ordinary way. I gather there's not much hope of effecting any change, but isn't there some course or procedure I could try?" - well, there would be a kind of heartlessness in refusing him, even if the doctor were thoroughly dubious about the likely effectiveness.

The zealots would say the doctor must refuse, on the grounds that "the only reason you don't want to be gay, the only reason you're so miserable, is that you've been screwed up by a homophobic society." That may very well be true, but the guy is in the state he's in, and the doctor should respond to that, and not deal with him as though he lived in some thoroughly-gay-friendly society.

Refusing the poor guy's plea would be like refusing pain-killers to someone because "the only reason you're suffering all this pain is because thugs beat you up."

Further, I found it odd that whereas the zealots on Pink News were so down on someone who says, "I'm gay and I want to be straight," they are fully supportive of someone who says, "I'm biologically male but want to be female." If someone is to be allowed to choose change in the latter case, why not in the former?

I was informed by PN posters that the latter represented a 'medically-recognised disorder' whereas homosexuality wasn't a disorder. Trouble is, what the medical profession regards as a disorder or not is apt to fluctuate and, to some extent at least, be a response to pressures outside medicine.