Culture Wars/Current Controversies

‘The False Gospel of Conversion Therapy,’ by Grace Byron

As state legislatures around the country debate conversion-therapy bans, LGBTQ+ young people are still being sent to these offices and camps. When she was a high-school student hoping to take her salvation into her own hands, writer Grace Byron enrolled herself: “I messaged my classmate’s conversion-therapist dad on Facebook at three in the morning. He responded the next day, saying he could help.” She would go on to work with him for years. “He was a Christian counselor, someone who could offer spiritual guidance from a little office on the top floor of his house. As I moved closer to God, he said, I would naturally find myself in a better mood. I wasn’t just promised heterosexuality; I was promised happiness.” In this essay, Grace shares an intimate look as if straight from the pages of her high-school diary, and reveals what her time in counseling really taught her about gender and God.

—Marisa Carroll, features editor, New York 

The False Gospel of Conversion Therapy I went to sessions every week in high school. I came out as trans anyway.

Photo-Illustration: The Cut; Photos: Grace Byron

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