Maryland school promotes ‘ex-gay’ therapy as a solution to bullying
Prince George’s County Public Schools on Wednesday decided to drop the use of a video that promoted so-called “ex-gay” therapy as one possible solution to the bullying of LGBT students.
According to a report published on Thursday by Washington City Paper, students in at least six middle-school health classes were shown the 21-minute film “Acception,” which disguises talk about gay-to-straight therapy within a larger message about bullying.
The film’s creator, Christopher Doyle, is a board member of Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX).
“As a youth, I was very confused and would have appreciated support for my unwanted same-sex attractions,” Doyle said in a 2009 statement from PFOX. “All I heard, even from some teachers, was that I was born gay. But as an adult, I discovered there is no scientific evidence to support this claim.”
In one clip from Doyle’s film, an actress posing as a student named Maria explains how she learned to fight her attraction to other women.
“I was so confused!” Maria exclaims. “I had dreams of being physically intimate with a woman. I was full of anxiety… I couldn’t imagine telling anyone that I was sexually attracted to girls.”
But after asking her family for help, Maria recalls that her feelings of same-sex attraction slowly disappeared.
“You know what else?” she says. “Some girls at school started hanging out with me. I felt accepted, like I really belonged. That was major. Over time as I got closer with my family and my friends, my sexual feelings for girls gradually went away. Really!”
After being contacted about the video by Washington City Paper, Prince George’s County Public Schools decided to discontinue use of the video, but officials refused to admit that the gay-to-straight therapy was a problem.
“We pulled the video because there was too much focus on alternative lifestyles,” spokesperson Briant K. Coleman told the paper.
Last year, the State of California banned the use of “reparative therapy” to change the sexual orientation of minors because the practice was not based on science.
Watch this video from Christopher Doyle, uploaded Aug. 24, 2012.
(h/t: Think Progress)