Contact Me

Use the form on the right to contact me.

You can edit the text in this area, and change where the contact form on the right submits to, by entering edit mode using the modes on the bottom right. 


123 Street Avenue, City Town, 99999

(123) 555-6789


You can set your address, phone number, email and site description in the settings tab.
Link to read me page with more information.


Filtering by Tag: Gay

Op-Ed: The Humanity, Legality, and Science Behind Gay Conversion Therapy

David Ruff

Should religious practices aimed at abusing gay children remain legal in a country founded upon freedom? In gay conversion camps--often presented as loving Christian camps-- adults abuse lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex children mentally and physically. These conversion camps pose as a helpful place where children find their “true” identity; when in fact, children are trained to hate themselves, associating their identity with sin. The mental abuse inflicted upon conversion therapy victims lasts a lifetime. With gay conversion camps being illegal in only 16 states, this issue is not only one of morality but represents the institutionalized homophobia in law and government. Gay conversion therapy should be made illegal as its principles, practices, and results are unethical.

Everyday gay citizens are ostracized in the eyes of society and the law for simply who they love. Furthermore, the mental and physical hostility experienced exponentially increases when a gay citizen enters the doors of a conversion facility. Lawmakers must ask themselves if it is truly moral to limit one’s human rights due to their sexuality. Victims -- from 19th century to present day -- have experienced cruel and unusual practices aimed towards eradicating their “disease” of homosexuality. According to, victims experience a wide range of unethical treatments such as talk/hypnosis therapy, electroshock therapy, electrical shocks to the genitals (when sexually reacting to homosexual pornography or images of their loved ones), testical transplants, and in some extreme cases -- lobotomies ( Severe involuntary treatments, in most cases performed on minors, in an effort to treat homosexuality like a disease (the American Psychiatric Association has denounced homosexuality as a disease for over 45 years) are a violation of one’s human rights. Gay conversion facilities should be illegal as they dehumanize people and leave lingering traumatic damage. Moreover, a report by the Journal of Medical Regulation states that conversion victims, “... 8.4 times more likely to have attempted suicide, 5.9 times more likely to report depression, and 3.4 times more likely to have tried illegal drugs when compared to individuals who did not feel rejected.” (Jack Drescher, MD; et al). This depicts how the intense rejection of one’s identity amplified by conversion practices result in a detrimental aftermath. However, due to the secretive destructive nature of such facilities and their victims it is impossible to record all the rates of unfortunate events. In light of this, many victims have come out to share their stories to shift the narrative in the forms of testimonies, interviews, novels, and movies. For example, as stated in the Guardian, Matthew Sherka notes his experiences at four different conversion facilities and said, “I knew that my feelings were not going away. I blamed myself; I wasn’t trying hard enough. My depression was serious. I gained 60lbs. I felt suicidal all the time.” (Chitra Ramaswamy). Sherka additionally was not allowed to talk to his female relatives for several years, including his mother and sister, as the camps claimed that they had an influence over his feminine demeanor and homosexual urges.  Sherka is one of nearly (an estimated) 700,000+ reported living victims of gay conversion facilities allowed to practice in 34 states, currently. When one’s human rights are on the line, the law should protect all citizens despite their status of sexuality, as such neglect is a violation of civil and moral rights.

The modern media and pop culture is on the forefront of informing the public of the antiquated and unethical practices of conversion therapy, and as a result, law makers. The media is making the unheard, heard by not allowing society to perpetuate and normalize victims as voiceless. Credible television and online news outlets, autobiographical novels turned popular films, and famous stars have denounced conversion therapy practices through compelling personal accounts accompanied by polarizing facts and/or statistics. Namely, Boy Erased, is a novel about Jared Eamons, an Arkansas college student who is an ardent athlete and passionate writer -- he is also gay. In the midst of accepting himself, Eamon experiences a failed adolescent heterosexual relationship, rape by a male student, neglect from his family, and ostracization from the church. As a result of Eamon’s coming out, his frantic parents enroll Eamon in gay conversion therapy facility. Eamon attends the “Love in Action” program which is gradually abusive through stern dogmatic religious rhetoric and physical action. Jared Eamon finds his own self-love despite the trauma he experienced (Conley, Boy Erased). To attract awareness to the multifaceted societal issues depicted in the Boy Erased novel, a film was released in November 2018 with a star-studded cast. Proclaimed film legend Nicole Kidman, rookie Lucas Hedges, alongside LGBTQ+ activist and sought-after pop vocalist Troy Sivan make up the characters disseminating Jared Eamon’s story. Similarly, the film The Miseducation of Cameron Post adapted from the eponymous novel by Emily Danforth, stars Chloe Grace Moretz, and shares the same goal as Boy Erased -- to call the public’s attention to the immoral prejudicial actions thrusted upon victims of conversion therapy. Moretz calls the film “a piece of art and activism” (MSNBC). Additionally, Hollywood has not stopped in their efforts to eradicate conversion therapy. Recently in the past two months, Imagine Dragons gave a powerful speech condemning conversion practices at the Billboard awards; while Taylor Swift has donated $113,000 in support of gay rights groups after a myriad of anti-gay bills were passed in her hometown of Tennessee -- a state that supports conversion therapy. Swift even posted on Instagram in support of gay rights during the Midterm Elections of 2018 to urge her 112 million followers to vote for Democratic candidates in her home state. As reported by the Washington Post, a surge of nearly 169,000 newly registered voters occurred in Tennessee after said singular post, shifting the prominent red state to blue (Amy Wang). As a result of the progressive push for the abolition of conversion practices from collectively all areas of mass media, 11 states have banned conversion therapy since 2017 out of the current 16 states who have banned conversion therapy (U.S. News). Americans’ values unequivocally align with supporting gay citizens as equals, however; the law lacks the representation of such modern values. When actors, singers, and artists with massive followings influence their fan base to take action with their local representatives -- exponential change occurs.

The dubious science underlying conversion therapy consists of no substance. Unlicensed therapists and self-proclaimed religious authorities scapegoat gay children in order to fulfill their own nefarious endeavors. Prominent scientific and mental health organizations castigate the empirical reasoning behind gay conversion practices. The American Psychiatric Association, “opposes any psychiatric treatment such as reparative or conversion therapy which is based upon the assumption that homosexuality per se is a mental disorder or based upon the a priori assumption that a patient should change his/her sexual homosexual orientation.”  Additionally, The American Academy of Pediatrics has stated: “Therapy directed at specifically changing sexual orientation is contraindicated, since it can provoke guilt and anxiety while having little or no potential for achieving changes in orientation.”, while The Pan American Health Organization, a regional office of the World Health Organization, has stated that these practices “lack medical justification and represent a serious threat to the health and well-being of affected people.” (National Center for Lesbian Rights). The only thing gay conversion therapy scientifically yields is mental trauma. There is no scientific evidence supporting gay conversion practices; exhibiting American government and laws are run by stigmatized tenets. Governance should be based upon moral imperatives and scientific reasoning not unreliable religious-based abhorrent dogma. Federal laws must evolve with the current societal enlightenment of equal human rights.

As social norms overwhelmingly mature from rudimentary ideologies; the law must reflect society’s strides for basic human rights. With no scientific reasoning, unethical practices, and traumatic results, the law should protect prospective conversion therapy victims. As gay citizens are deprived of basic human rights, the law must evaluate if such excruciating circumstances violate the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as Title VII prohibits no discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation (House of Representatives). According to the New York Times, “Chief Judge Robert A. Katzmann concluded that ‘sexual orientation discrimination is motivated, at least in part, by sex and is thus a subset of sex discrimination.’” as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg also notes, “Congress may design legislation to governing changing times and circumstances... Words in statutes can enlarge or contract their scope as other changes, in law or in the world, require their application to new instances or make old applications anachronistic” (Adam Liptak) . Treating gay people as second class citizens violates civil rights law while subsequently encouraging damaging outdated doctrine. If the law allows gay minors to be involuntarily harmed, where can the line be drawn for further impairment of marginalized groups? With the Equality Act -- an act that would grant gay citizens equal rights nationwide -- currently being reviewed, social and legal change are closer than ever before. Lawmakers must abolish partisanship in relation to injustices to gay citizens as a whole -- eradicating gay conversion therapy as their first step -- in order to restore public faith in governance. Gay conversion therapy is unscrupulous in every aspect of its entity; laws supporting such practices must be repealed through intensive law reform. Even in states where conversion therapy is illegal, non-licensed religious leaders and faith-based counselors are allowed to continue to perform on minors as religion is used as an untouchable front. Religion-based law is a slippery slope as it is used for advancements in inequitable treatment of minorities. There is no separation between church and state in regards to laws encompassing homosexual laws — fundamentally violating America’s principles. Right-winged lawmakers must favor morality over prejudice and sectarianism to protect gay minors and citizens against unethical antiquated practices.

The law is the framework for widespread social change; in times of great dissolution progressive movements must lead instead of bigotry. Being gay is not a choice and the assertion that children can be structurally changed is dangerous. Society needs to stop designing to hyper-uniformity and heteronormativity by disregarding diversity in all facets. Gay conversion therapy must be obliterated legally due to its iniquitous execution and fundamental creation. Conversion therapy torments homosexual minors mentally and physically with extreme negative corollary. Implementing hate within youth and dividing families are only the surface level issues that conversion therapy presents. The conversation needs to be changed on a broader spectrum. The law views homosexual citizens as unequals to their heterosexual counterparts in society. Even with recent progressions in law reform, gay citizens can still be legally discriminated across the nation in restaurants, places of work, adoption agencies, and in marriage licensing - to name a few. Gay conversion therapy is one of the utmost pressing issues in regard to the oppression of gay citizens as its primitive nature intends to mentally and physically harm LGBTQ+ adolescents. The abrogation of gay conversion therapy nationwide is the catalyst the country needs to defeat intolerance caused by the current and pre-existing political, social, and legal climate.

Cited Sources

“Actress Chloe Grace Moretz on New Film: It's a Form of Activism.” MSNBC, NBCUniversal News Group,

“Born Perfect: The Facts About Conversion Therapy.” National Center for Lesbian Rights, 8 Nov. 2018,

Conley, Garrard. Boy Erased: a Memoir. William Collins, 2018.

Danforth, Emily M. The Miseducation of Cameron Post. Balzer + Bray, 2018.

Leins, Casey. “States That Have Banned Conversion Therapy.” U.S. News & World Report, U.S. News & World Report, 11 Apr. 2019,

Liptak, Adam. "Supreme Court to Decide Whether Bias Law Covers Gay and Transgender Workers." The New York Times. 22 Apr. 2019. The New York Times. 03 May 2019 <>.

McGeorge, Christi R., et al. “An Exploration of Family Therapists' Beliefs about the Ethics of Conversion Therapy: The Influence of Negative Beliefs and Clinical Competence With Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Clients.” Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd (10.1111), 30 July 2013,

Ramaswamy, Chitra. “'I Still Have Flashbacks': the 'Global Epidemic' of LGBT Conversion Therapy.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 8 Aug. 2018,

Ryan, Patrick. “What Happens in Gay Conversion Therapy? 'Cameron Post,' 'Boy Erased' Show Scary Reality.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 3 Aug. 2018,

Silman, Anna. “8 People on Surviving Gay Conversion Therapy.” The Cut, The Cut, 10 Aug. 2018,

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. 03 May 2019 <>.

Wang, Amy B. “Taylor Swift's Endorsement of Democrats Is Followed by a Spike in Voter Registrations.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 9 Oct. 2018,

My Thoughts on "Love, Simon" + Insight In To My Own Coming Out Story

David Ruff


"Love, Simon" is the latest teen romantic comedy in theaters now. The only difference about this rom-com is that the protagonist is gay. The movie is a coming of age and coming out movie, as Simon, a senior in high school, slowly is opening up about his sexuality to his friends, family, and school. There is an anonymous gay teen at Simon's school with whom he connects with and falls in love with via e-mail. The only catch is that they don't know each other's identity. Simon tries to unravel the identity of "Blue", while hoping his own sexuality doesn't get revealed to his hyper-heterosexual high school. With many internal and external obstacles, "Love, Simon", exemplifies a less than ordinary coming out and first love story. And yes, there is a happy sappy, kleenex-worthy ending.


Now, more than ever there is more LGBTQ representation in film, TV, and media. The past 10 years or so, LGBTQ characters and their love stories have been intertwined into popularized media like Grey's Anatomy, but never as the main love story being portrayed. "Love, Simon" is a fresh perspective on your favorite boy meets girl high school gooey love story, but now it is boy meets boy. 


The societal goal of  "Love, Simon" was amazing. It is really the first movie (that isn't an Indie movie like Call Me By Your Name) where a gay love story is "the norm". I loved the fact that this is real life, that I can sit in a movie theater and watch a gay protagonist. The feeling is indescribable when you see a boy kiss a boy on the big screen, like butterflies - but in a good way. I am only sixteen, but the rest of my childhood, growing up, was watching my favorite classic 90s movies like "When Harry Met Sally" and "Pretty Woman", although I could never look up at the TV and aspire to have that love story. "Love, Simon" provides a sense of comfort that future generations of pre-teens and teens can see a gay love story and not think it is disgraceful or wrong. Love is love, and it should be that simple. 

However, "Love, Simon" isn't my ideal representation of a coming out story. Without spoiling the storyline, Simon was put in the position to chose either his friendships or his sexuality. The writers made it seem like being gay in 2018 limited you to only keeping your sexuality to yourself and that your support system of friends and family wouldn't be of any help. Even though it comes full circle by the end of the film (and Simon learns that mostly everyone is supportive of his relationship), the way they made Simon sacrifice friendships in order to maintain his secret love story, and how he was outed left a bad taste in my mouth. Coming out is a hard thing to do, even today, trust me I've been there. The first person I came out to was my best friend Victoria, and I knew when I was ready that my friends and family were the ones I could count on. Everything from my first crush to kiss was intimate, and I wouldn't have it any other way - but that is a story for another blog post. 

Anyways, the thing about the movie that I didn't like was that they made Simon's coming out everyone's business, where it should have been a bittersweet moment of intimacy, not his childhood burden. 


Although I did not like how Simon was outed, the message behind the film and what it means for our society is something that I am extremely happy about. This movie is not only a movie, it is an experience and part of the history of LBTQ media movements. I enjoyed the film a lot, the guy Simon falls in love with is a total hottie, and his first kiss is actual #goals. So unless you are homophobic (which I highly doubt any of my readers are because I am clearly gay AF), I definitely suggest that you purchase a ticket and go with your friends and family because films like these are not going away anytime soon.