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Saturday, February 27, 2010

I'm a gay man but I can be cured. Apparently.

My piece from today's News Review in the Irish Independent

My name is Declan and apparently I have a major emotional, possibly mental disorder: homosexuality. It would seem that I'm a gay man today either because I'm depressed and lonely, am 'wounded' from childhood, or because I'm simply missing God from my heart.

But help is at hand in the form of organisations that claim they can "cure" or "fix" homosexuality through a combination of psychotherapy and prayer. Last weekend, a conference took place in Belfast organised by Core Issues, an evangelical Northern Irish Christian group that promotes so-called "conversion" or "reparative therapy".

Continue here.


brenjamin said...

Great article Declan. I remember when I was on my psychiatric rotation last year one of my Malaysian classmates listed homosexuality in the differential diagnosis of a particular patient.

The consultant calmly told her that homosexuality was removed from the DSM-II (the Psych bible) in 1974, and that if she said that in an exam she would be automatically failed.

Though there are plenty of other sexual tidbits in it that are still clasified as disorders:

Declan Cashin said...

I had a panel published with the article in the paper that isn't on the website -


In the past, ‘treatments’ for homosexuality included shock therapy, hormone treatment, hysterectomy, sexual stimulants, sexual depressants, lobotomy, and hypnosis. Last September, Gordon Brown formally apologized on behalf of the British government for the 1952 chemical castration of gay WWII ‘Enigma’ code breaker Alan Turing.

These ‘solutions’ were largely based on the fact that homosexuality was criminalised in many countries (including here until as late as 1993), as well as the assumption that homosexuality was a medical or mental disorder. That began to change after 1974 when homosexuality was removed from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders - psychiatry's standard glossary of conditions.


Can you repost that link Bren - that one doesn't seem to work...

niallcr said...

Whenever I hear about "ex-gays" I always think of that Steve Martin line from the start of "The Jerk", "I was born a poor black child...". Or Obama's quote "You can put lipstick on a pig, its still a pig"

It really is a disturbing practice which prays on vulnerable people and teaches them that they are wrong and their desires are probably the result of a trauma that they have suppressed. This only further confuses any person unlucky enough to turn to them for support.