At this point, it is a medically and psychologically provable fact that ex-gay therapy (AKA conversion therapy), which attempts to turn a gay person into a straight person, is both entirely ineffective and incredibly harmful to those who endure it. Unfortunately, these abusive practices continue to exist throughout the country and the world. But stories about supportive families and individuals who have resisted and/or recovered from these "treatments" are now growing plentiful, giving both new hope and cautionary wisdom to the next generation of queer youth.
Most recently, a news story about a Texas family attempting to raise $100,000 dollars to help free a 17-year old from a gay conversion therapy camp has gone viral.
After Sarah (last name omitted) was sent to a Christian-affiliated pray-the-gay-away camp by her parents, some of her family members began raising funds to help free her from her situation. Her cousin, Jeremy Jordan (an actor in the Supergirl TV series), helped publicize a GoFundMe Page for his family member.
"Meet my cousin Sarah," reads the GoFundMe page. "At 17, her future looks bright. She is in the top 10% of her class, runs cross-country and belongs to the National Honor Society and the debate team. She is also gay. Like any high school kids in a relationship, Sarah and her girlfriend wanted to go to prom together. But when they did that, Sarah’s parents, who believe that homosexuality is a sin and abnormal, sent Sarah away against her will to an East Texas Christian boarding facility for troubled teens ... Sarah has been told that she must stay in this facility for a whole year. So instead of being surrounded by friends and extended family who love and support Sarah for who she is, she’ll be isolated in a place where the fact that she is gay is treated as a sin and an illness. Instead of preparing for college and competing in the state debate tournament, she’ll be doing forced labor every day and enduring Bible-based 'therapy' for her 'disease.'
She is not allowed phone calls or email or any form of computer communication. She is also not allowed visitors and cannot leave the property. She is completely cut off from the outside world. She tried to run away, but was caught by the staff and returned to the facility."
Luckily the GoFundMe page is more than halfway to it's goal of $100k. According to Jezebel, money raised from the site will be "used to pay for a legal appeal in a Texas state court, one designed to get Sarah out of the facility ... leftover money will be placed in a college fund."
It remains to be seen whether or not Sarah's family will actually be legally able to extract her from her situation.