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Concord Monitor, June 6, 2016

Conversion therapy and the damage done
Link to Monitor Article

I didn't accept being gay until I was 23; I'm nearly 40 now.

Having grown up in a rural logging community pre-internet, I was constantly shown that boys liked girls. The teenage me figured I was going through a phase, so I tried to be straight to "break the habit." But this was just acting. My mind easily wandered elsewhere.

I suspect during my teen years that a "professional" therapist explaining I was broken, given the straight lifestyle surrounding me, would have been easy to believe. It eventually became clear that my "phase" wasn't a phase. I waited until I was gainfully employed and owned a home to tell my parents in case they reacted poorly.

All other aspects of my life, like college and a career, went on hold until I worked through this, reflecting how much energy went into thinking and worrying about being gay. These mental gymnastics existed without the confusion of "conversion therapy."

Thankfully I can only imagine the helplessness I'd have felt had my parents put me through that before I figured out that you can't change gay. Unfortunately, thanks to Republican legislators this spring, gay kids today can still have this abusive "therapy" forced upon them by parents, religious leaders and "professional" therapists in New Hampshire. This is shockingly abhorrent.

I ask the Republicans who voted against the unabridged version of HB 1661, why do you want this child abuse to continue? Do you have any clue what you've done?

Aaron Gill - Deering