Despite being discredited by the American Psychological Association, among other organizations, conversion therapy is still a relatively profitable industry. This probably has something to do with the fact that there’s barely any regulation in these industries, and you can make scared, stupid people pay for just about anything if you lie to them enough.
But if you can’t tell people that conversion therapy is a sham, the next move is to try to show them that it’s bullshit. This is the basis for a new series from British doctor and television personality Christian Jessen, who will be putting gay “cures” to the test in a new TV show.
In an interview with Attitude magazine (via HuffPo), Jessen explained his inspiration for the show, saying, “I have been exposed to off-the-cuff homophobic comments from other doctors, especially when being trained in sexual health [ . . . ] I never hid my sexuality but never wove a flag either; I don’t see it as being relevant. I am a doctor and not a ‘gay doctor.’"
According to HuffPo, the show will not only deal with Jessen testing and discrediting conversion therapy, but will talk with patients undergoing treatment as well as those who came out the other side “straight."
Of course, the big problem isn’t just that the therapy’s bullshit: it’s that people still live in a climate of fear so potent they can be persuaded to pay for something they know is bullshit on the off chance they can make the fear stop. The basis of homophobia is paranoia, and that’s what’s going to keep people in their mindsets, regardless of how much proof there is to the contrary.
Here’s a video of the good doctor in question, if you want to see him in action . . .