Is there a such a thing as a Gay Cure?
Homosexuality is a topic that has always caused heated debates. I believe the reason for this is because it can be looked at from many different aspects that affect and influence our day to day lives. Religion, sociology, psychology and other sciences are amongst a few examples that offer varying explanations for the existence of homosexuality.
The word ‘cure’ suggests that there is an illness or health problem that needs to be treated. The term gay cure is not a surprising concept when one looks back through the history of homosexuality.
Homosexuality was considered to be a mental illness for a long time, resulting in a variety of cruel therapies and treatments being devised and used. Aversion therapy is perhaps now seen as the crudest and most damaging. One example of aversion treatment to cure homosexuality, forced an association between homosexual imagery and the patient being shocked with electricity. Through the use of pain and inducing feelings of humiliation and revulsion the subject would eventually be cured of their homosexual feelings and urges. If anything is unnatural or goes against humanity, surely that is it.
It was later revealed that aversion therapy was not successful. So much so that in 1994 the American Psychological Association declared that aversion therapy is dangerous and does not work. It also later became clear that homosexuality is not a mental illness and The World Health Organization only removed homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses in 1992.
As homosexuality was no longer classed as being a mental illness people began to question what it was that caused people to be gay. Two main opposing theories that offered an explanation were put forward. They became known as the nature versus nurture debate. Some believed homosexuality was an innate predisposition caused by either a gene or another physiological factor. Others came to believe that it was environmental and social factors that influenced a persons sexuality.
Scientific proof for either theory has still not been proven.
If a gay gene is found and proven to be the cause of homosexuality, I cannot help but feel there is potential for a disaster. For the religions that believe homosexuality to be a sin, this would be the find they were hoping for. Once a gay gene is discovered it could eventually be used to ‘cure’ people. Some important religious figures have already claimed that once the ‘cure’ has been discovered, it should be used on all homosexuals. It is because of statements like this part of me hopes that if there is a gay gene it is never discovered.
The nearest thing to a gay cure at present, aims to cure the nurture side of the argument. If homosexuality is a learnt behaviour enforced by environmental and social factors, it can also be unlearnt. This leads onto the subject of Gay Cure through Gay Camps.
This is something that caught my attention as is has been in the headlines recently. A Gay Cure conference took place on Sat 25th April 2009 in London. The two day conference was organised by Christian groups Anglican Mainstream and CARE with a specific focus on people struggling from Same- Sex Attraction (SSA). In the USA Gay Camps are very popular, through the power of Jesus Christ, praying and counselling, many believe it is possible for homosexuals to be cured of their SSA.
It isn’t surprising that many gay and LGBT groups do not approve of these camps and conferences. They feel it is forcing people to deny who they really are. Many people now do not view homosexuality in the same way as they once did and are beginning to accept it. Gay rights have improved throughout the world. Civil Partnerships have been made legal throughout many places in the world granting the same legal rights as married heterosexual couples.
My personal opinion is that it is a deeply person choice. If someone wishes to try and seek a gay cure through the use of these camps and conferences, then that is their right to do so. If it will help improve their quality of life, then why should they not be given the choice to try? I do however, also hold to the belief that if people are happy being gay, then they should be able to live their lives as they see fit.
To put it simply, people are gay. It’s as simple as that. Some people are happy and content being gay and living a gay lifestyle. There is no reason why they shouldn’t be. I do struggle desperately to understand why heterosexual people whose lives are not affected by homosexuals in the slightest have such extreme hostile feelings towards them. Some people who are doctors, police, teachers all of which are upstanding members of society are gay. They pay their taxes and contribute to their societies economic well-being. Why should they not be seen as equal as everyone else and get to live their lives in peace?
It important to remember that some people have been brought up with certain religious beliefs and lifestyles. If that persons family and friends hold to the view that homosexuality is wrong, perhaps even sinful, then their quality of life is going to be severely diminished. In history we have seen the tragic consequences of people struggling to accept their sexuality, suicide being the most tragic. If the person wants to try and find a way that will allow them to be the same as everyone else they know, then surely it is their basic human right to try.
I believe most gay people would agree with this. It is not the right to choose the cure that worries most gay people. It is the fact that the religious groups that run the camps and offer the cure, believe that every gay person should be cured. Which is morally and ethically wrong. You cannot force someone to relinquish their sexuality and lifestyle!
In conclusion, the elusive gay cure is what an individual wants and needs it to be. If a gay person is happy and living a fulfilling life, then there is no such thing as a cure because there’s is no illness or need for a cure. If however, someone is struggling with their faith and sexuality, then the gay cure is something that offers them what they think they need. Whether it works, is a completely different subject, one which i do not intent to discuss here.
Gay cure cannot work or even exists for everyone because not everyone needs it.