Thursday, May 6, 2021

Editorial: Never change yourself for others

We like to think that our generation is the most accepting of human differences in history, thus far. Being inclusive is a goal of the Cardinal Points editorial board — to make everyone feel as though they are represented as they are, not as how others see them.

We believe that people shouldn’t be forced to be someone they aren’t. They shouldn’t be forced to change. They shouldn’t be told they aren’t good enough for being the best version of themselves.

That is exactly what the purpose of conversion therapy is against. It is for fixing, or converting those who identify, or are believed to be, as a sexual orientation other than straight.

In news editor Tim Lyman’s story, “Cuomo bans LGBT therapy insurance,” he introduces a recent announcement made by Gov. Andrew Cuomo which bans New York state public and private insurance agencies to cover this conversion therapy. He mentions in the article that some recent conversion therapy tactics have included counseling session with the aim to change “gay behavior.”

“Conversion therapy is a hateful and fundamentally flawed practice that is counter to everything this state stands for,” Cuomo said in a statement reported in NY Daily News.

In the same article, it was reported that he said “his action ‘rejected fundamentally the absurd notion that being gay is a psychiatric disorder.’”

Gender and Women’s Studies Associate Professor Connie Oxford spoke on the topic stating that since some believed it was an illness, they thought they could cure it.

Firstly, what nonheterosexual people experience is not an illness. It is who they are, and it is not something that needs to be cured. To think that there was a time in our recent history where people wanted their child, sibling, cousin or anyone close to them to go through this so called “therapy” because they believed that person carried an illness is astonishing to us.

Secondly, the treatment is outdated. It helped to make those going through the “treatment” feel rejected. Societal prejudice is known to cause many harms to these communities, and by being sent to get “fixed” only adds to the rejection, according to the Human Rights Campaign official website.

“Highly rejected LGBT young people were more than eight times as likely to have attempted suicide, nearly six times as likely to report high levels of depression, more than three times as likely to use illegal drugs and more than three times as likely to be at high risk HIV and STDs,” according to HRC.

And again, no person should be forced to change their sexual orientation to please others. They shouldn’t work to change or be cured. They should work to be the best they can be.

If there is anything that should be cured, it’s intolerance.

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