This afternoon, Amanda Simpson — Executive Director of the U.S. Army Office of Energy Initiatives, and the first openly transgender woman Presidential appointee ever — sent the following message to the White House email list. Her message explains why "conversion therapy" is so harmful to all of us, and why it was important for the White House to stand up against the practice.
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Across the country, there are doctors working to convince people to change their sexual orientation or gender identity. It's known as "conversion therapy," but it could also be called brainwashing, or reprogramming.
Loving and compassionate parents and ministers who are trying to do the right thing are doing just the opposite. They are influenced by bad science, not grounded in fact. This so-called "conversion therapy" is harmful.
A couple of days ago, the White House came out in support of efforts to ban the use of conversion therapy. And as a transgender woman, this is especially personal to me.
No one should be forced to be someone they're not. Everyone should be valued for their authentic, true self — who they are — regardless of the gender with which they identify, or who they love.
I recently talked with a few other people in the Administration about why conversion therapy is so dangerous, and why it was so important for the White House to take a strong stance against the practice.