Of all the bad treatment that gay people often endure, to insinuate that homosexuality can be “cured” has got to be one of the worst, most vile suggestions I have ever heard – one made by Glynn Harrison, emeritus professor of psychiatry at Bristol University.
According to the Guardian, he has written recent articles saying that gay relationships “fall short of God’s purpose in creation”. I am not a huge fan of organised religion in the first place; I genuinely respect people’s right to faith and appreciate that people have beliefs that don’t and won’t match my own. But if I wasn’t turned off from religion beforehand, comments like that would be enough to have me kicking the doors open myself. It frustrates and infuriates me that an all-loving, all-wonderful God cannot accept a group of people who just happen to be gay. And it infuriates me even more when people regurgitate this stuff without any thought for the consequences. Homophobia is never acceptable, and it’s about time religion joined us in the 21st century and realised that.
As for “falling short of God’s purpose” – are the church going to “cure” infertile women who cannot reproduce? “Cure” couple who don’t want children? Because surely, these people do not fit into “God’s purpose for creation” either? It gets worse.
Harrison reckons “there is evidence that some people with unwanted same sex attractions can achieve significant change”. If he opened his eyes a little bit further, he might realise that the very reason people feel their attractions are “unwanted” is because of the sort of homophobia he’s coming out with. If Harrison and others like him allowed gay people to realise that being gay is nothing to be ashamed of, that it’s just as normal as being “straight”, then perhaps people wouldn’t feel so ashamed, or so not-normal. Why else would the feelings be “unwanted”? My parents would be ashamed – underlying issue of homophobia. My friends would think of me differently – underlying issue of homophobia. It’s not natural – underlying issue of homophobia.
So the gay cure?
Sure, let’s “cure” every person in this society that I don’t really like that much. Let’s cure… Beliebers. Cure them all, just because I don’t like them.
Or… how about people like Harrison leave the LGBT community alone? I might not like Beliebers, but I respect their right to like damn awful music. It is simply not my decision to make. It is theirs. I am so comfortable with my own sexuality, and it isn’t anybody else’s decision but mine. I used to detest myself for finding women attractive because people like Glynn Harrison made me feel like I should be ashamed to. And it’s saddening that in this day and age, people are still being made to feel ashamed of who they are.
We don’t need a gay cure, Glynn Harrison. We need a cure for homophobia.