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"The Truth About Conversion Therapy" with McKrae Game & Derek Webb

"The Truth About Conversion Therapy" with McKrae Game & Derek WebbThe founder of conversion therapy ministry "Hope for Wholeness" will speak about his disavowment of the ministry and the harmful effects about the movement he lead for 20 years. Music Guest: Derek Webb 4 Add to DreamList22jan7:00 pm9:30 pm

Event Details

McKrae Game’s story made international headlines as “Former Conversion Therapist Comes Out as Gay and Renounces His Work”. At age 22, he became a Christian and soon afterward, discovered the world of conversion therapy where he was told that his attractions would diminish and shift. He eventually learned that this was not true. He married and had children, then  started a ministry that in 2013 became a national network, one of the largest ex-gay organizations in the world. Over 20 years in ministry, he counseled hundreds seeking freedom from the LGBTQ+ lifestyle believing he was helping people. Today however, McKrae realizes that he caused harm, enforcing the cycle of confusion and shame in those he served. Today, he fully accepts himself as a gay man, and encourages those that are rejecting their sexuality to embrace themselves as a whole person. His desire is to see conversion therapy banned, to see parents love their gay or trans child, for society to learn to accept and love LGBTQ+ persons as the beautiful people they are, and to see LGBTQ+ suicides drastically reduced. He believes all these can be accomplished if people were to realize that God loves them for who they are, and that they do not need to conform to cultural or religious expectations to receive and embrace that full love and acceptance.

Derek Webb believes that an artist should “Look at the world and describe it.” Over his long career (nearly 25 years, counting his tenure as founder & lead singer/songwriter of folk rock ensemble Caedmon’s Call), he has risked everything year after year to do that job. While Webb is most identified with his provocative & fearless writing style, in more recent years his description of the world has done more to comfort the afflicted than his typical M.O. of afflicting the comfortable.

Time

January 22, 2020 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm

Location

Southtown Commons (Former AME Church in King William)

1150 S. Alamo St. San Antonio, TX,

Event Entrance Fees

Free

Registration/More Info

What is conversion therapy? Conversion therapy, sometimes referred to as “reparative therapy,” is any of several dangerous and discredited practices aimed at changing an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Conversion therapists use a variety of shaming, emotionally traumatic or physically painful stimuli to make their victims associate those stimuli with their LGBTQ identities. According to studies by the UCLA Williams Institute, more than 700,000 LGBTQ people have been subjected to the horrors of conversion therapy, and an estimated 80,000 LGBTQ youth will experience this unprofessional conduct in coming years, often at the insistence of well-intentioned but misinformed parents or caretakers. Does conversion therapy work? No. Conversion therapy is premised on the false notion that being LGBTQ is a mental illness that should be cured, despite all major medical associations’ agreement that LGBTQ identities are a normal variant of human nature. In fact, the American Psychiatric Association determined that homosexuality was not a mental illness in 1973. In addition to its flawed foundation, no credible scientific study has ever supported the claims of conversion therapists to actually change a person’s sexual orientation. On the contrary, a 2007 report by an American Psychological Association task force found that “results of scientifically valid research indicate that it is unlikely that individuals will be able to reduce same-sex attractions or increase other-sex sexual attractions through [sexual orientation change efforts].” In fact, Dr. Robert Spitzer, whose research had previously been misused to support conversion therapy, has retracted his original claims, stating that data regarding conversion therapy had been misinterpreted and that there is no conclusive evidence for its effectiveness. Is conversion therapy harmful? Yes. The risks of conversion therapy extend far beyond its ineffectiveness, and the time and money wasted on “therapies” that don’t work. The American Psychiatric Association has clarified that “the potential risks of reparative therapy are great, including depression, anxiety and self-destructive behavior, since therapist alignment with societal prejudices against homosexuality may reinforce self-hatred already experienced by the patient.” The Pan American Health Organization, a regional office of the World Health Organization, concluded that conversion therapy, “lack[s] medical justification and represent[s] a serious threat to the health and well-being of affected people.” Conversion therapy amplifies the shame and stigma so many LGBTQ young people already experience. Parents who send their child to conversion therapy instill feelings of family rejection and disappointment and risk seriously fracturing their relationship with their child. In a study by San Francisco State University, lesbian, gay and bisexual youth who were rejected by their families and caregivers due to their identities were nearly six times more likely to report high levels of depression and more than eight times more likely to have attempted suicide when compared to youth from accepting and affirming families and caregivers. Few practices hurt LGBTQ youth more than attempts to change their sexual orientation or gender identity. All youth deserve a climate in which they are loved and embraced.

Organizer

Pub Theology & Pride Center of San Antonio

Pub Theology meets weekly and is hosted by Pastor Gavin Rogers (TPUMC) and Bekah McNeel (Christianity Today). Each week we invite different community or faith leaders to share about various faiths, creating the common good, and our shared life together.

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