The 1999 film, But I’m a Cheerleader takes a tongue in cheek look at so-called “Rehabilitation Camps”. Unfortunately, such camps do exist in the real world and I can’t help how much damage they are doing to teenagers whose misguided parents send them there to be “cured”.
Yesterday I heard about a 16 year old boy that came out to his parents. The parents, being conservative Christians, freaked out. Apparently they waited the couple of weeks until the school year ended and then informed him that they were sending him to this rehabilitation camp where he could learn not to be gay. He was told that he was sick and that they had raised him wrong and that God didn’t want him to be this way.
Before he was sent off, he managed to learn a bit about the camp where he was being sent. He posted the rules where the children are euphemistically referred to as “clients” and to my, admittedly biased, eye they arguably could be interpreted as child abuse. They are required to follow a strict dress code, are unable to see secular media, have strict controls on who they may talk with and in general are treated like prisoners.
Perhaps it’s possible that these are justified when someone is genuinely sick and needs help. But, this boy isn’t sick. He’s gay. His
parents may be correct about raising him wrong though if this is any indication of their methods.
If your church supports the efforts of Love in Action or programs like them that try to brainwash children into repressing their true selves, I strongly urge you to ask them to reconsider. Organizations like this are likely to do damage that may take years to repair if it can be repaired at all.
It’s sadly ironic that many of the most conservative members of our society accuse the gay community of “recruiting” and of trying to convert people to a “gay lifestyle”. In reality, it’s these very same people that are doing the recruiting. Few gay people would try to force someone into a same-sex relationship yet these people think it is right and proper to try to force their child to be heterosexual.