To date, 20 states and almost 70 municipalities in the US have passed laws to protect LGBTQ youth from conversion therapy through the legal work of a legal group called "Born Perfect." So-called “conversion therapy” that promises to make gay people straight has been condemned by every major medical and mental health organization, yet it continues to happen in every state. Kids subjected to it are often exposed to traumatic practices that often result in severe mental health challenges and suicides.
Our guest today is Mathew Shurka, the co-founder of Born Perfect. During his five years of conversion therapy from ages 16-21, Mathew endured many different types of fraudulent and scientifically discredited “treatments” that he was told would “cure” his homosexuality. Most traumatizing, he was instructed to stay away from his mother and two sisters for three years based on the false belief that being gay is caused by a man being too close to his mother or other female relatives. Mathew sought out treatment for the trauma he endured and reconciled with his family. At 24 he began advocating to end conversion therapy with The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and worked with NCLR to create Born Perfect in 2014.
Today we explore the terror that such bogus "therapies" instill, where they are practiced and what can be done to stop them.
With co-host Brody Levesque.