Following the suicide of the transgender teen a few months ago, which I discussed before, there was a lot of outrage on the part of the left. Despite the fact that people commit suicide all the time, this one incident was singled out as being special because it offered the perfect opportunity to push their own political agendas. It was mentioned that Joshua was taken to see a counselor who tried to treat his gender dysphoria as a mental illness. People were outraged by this and started a petition, Leelah’s Law, to lobby to make such treatment illegal. Obama has responded to their petition, and has given his support to it.
A 17-year-old transgender youth, Leelah Alcorn, stunned her friends and a vast Internet audience in December when she threw herself in front of a tractor-trailer after writing in an online suicide note that religious therapists had tried to convert her back to being a boy.
In response, President Obama is calling for an end to such therapies aimed at “repairing” gay, lesbian and transgender youth. His decision on the issue is the latest example of his continuing embrace of gay rights.
In a statement that was posted on Wednesday evening alongside a WhiteHouse.gov petition begun in honor of Ms. Alcorn, Mr. Obama condemned the practice, sometimes called “conversion” or “reparative” therapy, which is supported by some socially conservative organizations and religious doctors.
The petition has received more than 120,000 signatures in three months.
“We share your concern about its potentially devastating effects on the lives of transgender as well as gay, lesbian, bisexual and queer youth,” the statement, written by Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to Mr. Obama, says. “As part of our dedication to protecting America’s youth, this administration supports efforts to ban the use of conversion therapy for minors.”
In an interview on Wednesday, Ms. Jarrett said Mr. Obama had been moved by the story of Ms. Alcorn’s suicide. But she said the problem went far beyond Ms. Alcorn.
“It was tragic, but I will tell you, unfortunately, she has a lot of company,” Ms. Jarrett said. “It’s not the story of one young person. It is the story of countless young people who have been subjected to this.”
Now I will say that I don’t see any benefit to conversion therapy for gay/lesbian children, but then again, I’ve always thought it’s ridiculous that transgender people are lumped in with LGB people. LGB people simply have a non-heterosexual orientation. Transgender people have an issue with the body they have. They’re completely different issues and I don’t understand why they’re linked together. The gay guy is not at risk of harming himself by feeling attracted to other guys and so, doesn’t need to undergo therapy to change him. The transgender guy on the other hand runs the risk of being encouraged to have his body irreparably mutilated because he believes that his body is wrong. What happens if he turns out to be one of the 70% to 80% who is just going through a phase? That therapy that failed with Joshua could be exactly what he and the rest of those kids could need before making a mistake that will ruin their lives.
Hell, let’s imagine someone got cancer and was forced to undergo chemo-therapy by his/her loved ones. The therapy made them sick and weak, and caused their hair to fall out. Feeling so sick and feeling embarrassed about losing their hair, they became severely depressed. So depressed, that they decided to commit suicide rather than fighting on. Now imagine if a bunch of idiots on the internet got a hold of that story and lobbied to outlaw chemo-therapy because one guy committed suicide. Think of all those other cancer sufferers who can no longer get chemo-therapy because of this reactionary nonsense.
Yes, I’ll admit that I’m reaching a lot in that comparison seeing as the two conditions and their treatments are completely different. However my point is, that the end result is exactly the same. Because one person committed suicide after the treatment, nobody else is ever able to get that treatment again, even though it may help them more than it helped the person who committed suicide.
Even if you actually read the story that Joshua told on his blog, he admitted that he was depressed because he had been forced by his mother to break off all contact with his friends, and when eventually she eased up on that, they’d all abandoned him. Is it not a possibility that maybe that was the real reason for the suicide? Because he was lonely and had lost all his friends? Instead, everyone is quick to blame the therapy (therapy which was ineffective in this incident, but may work for other kids. Perhaps Joshua was one of the 20%-30% who aren’t just going through a phase).
However, because of overzealous do-gooders who react based on emotion rather than logic, we’re going to see the end of what could be a life saving treatment for children who are just confused. No doubt, when all these kids go through with the surgery (because they’ve had no therapy to convince them not to), and then realise their mistake years later, we’re going to see a whole lot more suicides as a result. I guarantee you though instead of placing the blame where it belongs (on themselves for pushing to make that therapy illegal), they’ll just blame it on discrimination because no matter what, it’s always everyone else’s fault but their own.