Conversion therapy is one of the most heinous methods of attack on the LGBTQ+ community by the christian community. Conversion therapy, aversion therapy or any variation on the term is the practice of using behavorial therapy techniques, manipulation, coercion and torture to change a persons sexual identity from homosexual to heterosexual. This practice has a long, controversial history that dates back centuries to church powers in Europe deeming homosexuality a sin and something that could be ‘cured’ through the power of god and these various forms of conversion techniques. Such techniques could include anything that the mind could conjure, and worse. In some instances, patients are forced to take nausea inducing medication and watch homoerotic films, in theory to rewire the brain. In other cases, talk therapy and psychological manipulation is used to convince a person that they have changed. In all cases, it has been widely understood by the medical community to be a fraudulent practice. In recent years, the conversion therapy movie and documentary business has flared up with several amazing motion pictures detailing personal experiences with this kind of therapy, and raise awareness of these evil organizations for the youth of the future. Keep reading for a brief overview of the two best movies out there about conversion therapy.
‘Conversion’ by Bristol Pictures
The best film that explores this topic in depth is the film ‘Conversion’ produced by Bristol Pictures. This film covers the story of a young psychologist practicing conversion therapy techniques, and his epiphany to change his practices after meeting a young gay man named Charles Silverstein. The psychologist, Gerald Davidson, met Charles through his practice and became convinced that what he was doing was wrong, and needed to be changed immediately. This film goes deep into the psychologists that helped popularize this belief, and gives context to our current state of affairs regarding the LGBTQ+ community in America. Today, we are seeing more attempts and a resurgence of this kind of intolerance being pushed for at the political level, and we need to take a page out of these two mens books and stand up for what’s right.
Conversion’ is available on several streaming services including Amazon Prime, iTunes and Google Play. If you don’t have one of these services, it might be worth it to sign up just to watch this film. Movies like this are potentially important cultural turning points, and the more people become aware of these harmful attitudes and practices, the better chance we have to change things for our future generations. Plus, this will give a lot of context for why and how these ideas became so strong not just in religion, but in science and psychology.
‘Pray Away’ by Netflix
This film, available on Netflix, follows the harrowing tale of Exodus International, a self proclaimed ex-gay church group that claimed to be able to convert gay men and women who wanted to change. This is a particularly spine chilling story, as it is an example of coercion by a power group to indoctrinate people into their belief system and take advantage of people to grow their ministry and message. The incredible thing about this story is how deeply Exodus was able to make people believe that the desires they felt were indeed sinful and because of their own sin. This ability of religious organizations to prey on our self worth to diminish our identities and take control of our self image is despicable and incredible at the same time.
As mentioned, this film is available on Netflix to stream, which is a commonly used platform and should be available for most people to access. The difference between this film, and why ‘Conversion’ is a slightly better look into conversion therapy, is that it focuses on just one contralized, modern church but doesn’t go as in depth into the psychological history of the practices. While it’s still a great look at these people’s individual stories, ‘Conversion’ has more to offer in terms of contextual information and historical accounts of what happened in the early 60’s and 70’s and how public opinion managed to shift.
If you want to check out the best conversion therapy movie, check out ‘Conversion’ by Britsol Pictures. This documentary covers the story of a psychologist and a young gay man who work together to bring awareness towards accepting the LGBTQ+ community and changing public opinion against the idea of converting gay youths and damaging their minds for the rest of their lives. Conversion therapy has grave consequences, and has already cost the lives of thousands of young gay citizens. Let’s help spread awareness by seeing these films, and talking about it with our peers. Awareness is the first major step toward real change in America.