Seeing these men… full of pain because they’re not the men they can ever be… makes the viewer go back between pity and revulsion, frustration. Many of us know gay and lesbian people who don’t fit the vile stereotypes they spout. And of course they seem to blame being gay for all of their shortcomings and failures… They aren’t married, don’t have kids, hate their parents, have addiction issues… it’s easier to blame something over which you have no control or power than to actually get to the root of their issues.
They even seem – just a bit – to acknowledge that there’s no real way to stop being gay. They know that deep down. But fighting the windmill is a lot easier than dealing with the real personal issues they have. Battling things like depression, the inability to socially fit in and parental issues is a lot harder than going to a place that blames all those issues on one thing… their being gay. They’re told that being gay is the route of all their issues and therefore if they find the magic cure to being gay… all their other problems will magically go away.
It’s 21st century snake oil. And while it’s never worked, it’s still a huge money-making business.
“In this special report, VICE gets exclusive access to one of the hundreds of gay-conversion-therapy organizations, groups, and sessions in the United States. At the Journey into Manhood program, men pay more than $600 to attend a weekend retreat where they participate in exercises and activities the staff members claim will help them battle their same-sex orientation. The only qualification to become a staff member is to have successfully completed the program.”