Conversion Therapy in the United States: How Storytelling Has Impact
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Conversion therapy (CT) has long been a popular practice for anti-queer Christian fundamentalists. In recent years, storytelling has been used as a method by organizations attempting to ban conversion therapy across the United States, and the movement has been gaining a lot of traction since 2018. Using concepts from queer and feminist theorists like Lee Edelman and Adrienne Rich, I will hypothesize why, after discussing conversion therapy’s historical context, conversion therapy exists and why people believe it to be an effective form of therapy. This thesis will also discuss storytelling as a tool for activism and self-care, and how personal stories could dismantle the conversion therapy movement through antigay bias correction, by hypothesizing a correlation between legislation (state, municipal and federal), storytelling and films like Boy Erased in the U.S. This thesis is meant to be a resource for organizations, families, lawyers and any others who are interested in gaining deeper insight into the world of conversion therapy.