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Letter: Helping LGBTQ youth even though the conversion therapy ban failed

(Trent Nelson | Tribune file photo) Ermiya Fanaeian, with a group of young people protesting in front of the House Chamber, calling on legislators to support a conversion therapy ban and denounce homophobia and transphobia in Salt Lake City on March 11, 2019.

With the recent gutting of HB399 (which would have banned the use of conversion therapy on LGBTQ+ youth), this practice will continue to be used on this vulnerable population.

Conversion therapy is the attempt to change one’s sexual orientation away from LGBTQ+ identities to align with a heterosexual identity. While adults may have good intentions in mind for wanting conversion therapy to be conducted on their children, the impact of this is detrimental. According to Equality Utah, LGBTQ+ youth are already prone to depression and suicide ideation. It is already difficult enough trying to figure out how to belong and navigate through a world that may not be accepting of who they are. If a child or adolescent is thrown into therapy where they will be “fixed,” indicating that something is wrong with them, this will only worsen their state of mind.

Even though, legislatively, the banning of conversion therapy may have failed, Utahns must do what they can to prevent such acts happening. We must be aware of the impact of conversion therapy and what it does to our youth who want a place in this world, just like everyone else.

Cassidy Burningham, South Jordan

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