This will be the year that every single state in the country submits a bill to protect LGBTQ youth from conversion therapy. The Trevor Project will lead this effort to end conversion therapy with our 50 Bills 50 States campaign.
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.
What Are We Doing?
First we will unite as a community. Let us know who you are and what state you live in so that we can build a nationwide effort to end conversion therapy.
Next we will begin the outreach. In each state we are searching and finding advocacy volunteers to serve as ambassadors. These awesome volunteers will connect us to the local LGBTQ and equality groups as well as recommend state legislators which may be amenable to submitting legislation. It is critical that this work start with constituents on the ground in these states.
Following the outreach stage, we hope to join the local LGBTQ and state equality groups in large coalitions. We will discuss the work to be done and strategize who in the state legislature is most likely to be supportive.
Once we find a state legislator it’s off to the races with discussion, research, and legislative writing until we submit a bill. Then we fight for its passage and the end of licensed conversion therapy across the country.