The Facts About Our LGBT Children

LGBT people are part of the family.

Like everyone else, LGBT people have parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews, aunts, uncles, and cousins who love them, and whom they love and care for.

When any person is rejected because of his or her sexual orientation, everyone in the family suffers unnecessarily. For the one rejected, the consequences are often tragic. Like every human being, LGBT people need their families’ unconditional love and acceptance, and those who receive it have a greater chance of living a healthy and fulfilling life.

Being LGBT is not a choice.

In fact, sexual orientation of all kinds, including heterosexuality, is an innate trait, not a “lifestyle” choice. If you are straight, when did you “decide” to be attracted to the opposite sex? LGBT orientation is a normal and natural human characteristic, and is just one of the many ways that people differ.

Homosexuality is not a disorder and cannot be changed.

Both the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association have recognized that homosexuality is not a mental or emotional disorder. Therefore, it does not need to be “cured.”

Trying to change is dangerous and doesn’t work.

So-called “ex-gay” therapy hurts gay people and only drives their same-sex attraction deeper into the closet. It does not change their innate orientation. Think about it. If you are straight, do you really think you could “learn” through therapy to be attracted to the same sex? Attempts to change sexual orientation originate from cultural bias based on myth, misperception and misunderstanding. Our challenge is not to change LGBT people, but to change the cultural bias that denies their full humanity.

The leading medical associations are in full agreement that attempting to change sexual orientation is not possible and even may be harmful:

American Psychiatric Association:

Psychiatric literature strongly demonstrates that treatment attempts to change sexual orientation are ineffective. However, the potential risks are great, including depression, anxiety and self-destructive behavior…”

American Medical Association:

Most of the emotional disturbance experienced by gay men and lesbians around their sexual identity is not based on physiological causes but rather is due more to a sense of alienation in an unaccepting environment. For this reason, aversion therapy (a behavioral or medical intervention which pairs unwanted behavior, in this case, homosexual behavior, with unpleasant sensations or aversive consequences) is no longer recommended for gay men and lesbians. Through psychotherapy, gay men and lesbians can become comfortable with their sexual orientation and understand the societal response to it.”