Forget ghosts and demons, the scariest types of stories might be horror stories from gay conversion camps. These camps have the singular goal of convincing homosexuals that there is something wrong with them – but if they work at it, they can just stop being gay. As you can imagine, these reprogramming camp horror stories are nothing short of barbaric, and some border on outright torture. What’s more, they have been proven by the American Psychological Association to be totally ineffective and are even banned in some states.
Below is a list of some of the worst things that have happened at gay conversion therapy camps. After reading a few of them, you would think these are people recounting stories from forty or fifty years ago, but no. These are surprisingly recent true stories and show just how far we still need to go when it comes to true equality and acceptance.
A Girl Commits Suicide After Attending a Conversion Camp
A month later, she committed suicide, with a letter to her parents saying, “Mom, Dad I love you despite how misguided you are, you taught me how to hate and feel disgusted with myself rather than to love myself.”
An Undercover Straight Reporter Watches as a Gay Man Beats His Imaginary Father to Death
A majority of the men in the group recreated scenes with counselors portraying their fathers and then were forced to physically drag the counselors out of the room and shut the door. One of the younger guests was given a bat and a punching bag was placed in front of him. He started whacking the punching bag with half-hearted enthusiasm, but with the encouragement of the counselors, he was told to really hurt the bag until it was dead. While he was hitting it, the man’s imaginary father died, and in his place a new father appeared, one who was more accepting. This was to help the man get over his father issues and therefore, no longer be homosexual.
To Earn Dad’s Approval, a Boy Gets His Testicles Electrocuted
At the camp, counselors would tape electrical pads to young men’s testicles while making them watch gay porn. If they got an erection, they got zapped.
After the camp, this man got married to a woman, only for it to end in divorce later when it turned out that both he and his wife were homosexual.
Pray the Gay Away Gathering Leads to Admittance to the Psych Ward
At that point, the pressure became too much. The girl, age 16, asked to be admitted to a psych ward and stayed there for a week just to get some space from her family and the camp counselors.
A Gay Man Was Brainwashed Into Believing He Had Been Abused
When his parents saw that Guay was cutting himself, they sought out help. For over a year he attended individual therapy sessions where he was told he was gay because of an overbearing mother and distant father, even though that wasn’t the case at all. He was encouraged to “remember” nonexistent instances of physical and sexual abuse from his childhood.
At last, Guay went to a series of conferences put on by Exodus International (the largest ex-gay organization) and while he was in groups with other similar people, he was told that he just needed to become more manly. If he did that, it would instill in him heterosexual desires.
At last, Guay learned to accept who he was and be happy with himself. He is now a psychotherapist specializing in LGBT issues, and campaigns to ban ex-gay conversion camps (they are now illegal in his state of California).
A Conversion Camp Creates a Ticking Time Bomb of Violent Rage
After he left the camp, the man’s father was told he was “cured.” He married a woman without telling her his past and they had kids. Throughout their almost 30 years of marriage, he was a bad husband and father. He was abusive, angry, and even violent before finally leaving his wife (the redditor’s mother) for a man.
Today, his son doesn’t entirely blame his father, but rather he blames the camp and the church that convinced his father that he was wrong and sinful, ruining not only his own life, but the lives of his wife and children, too.
After Realizing He Didn’t Belong, a Young Man Plans his Great Escape
In the end, when he called his father to tell him he’d escaped, his dad was proud that his son stuck to his guns. Though the counselors themselves weren’t too happy and were convinced that the kid was an abomination and going to hell.
A Straight Girl Was Sent to a Camp Accidentally and Her Heterosexuality Was Taken as Proof the Camp Worked
After a week there, where she witnessed a bunch of strange things (including a camper hooking up with a counselor of the same sex on the obstacle course), she decided to run away. The camp staff waited two days before reporting her missing, because they thought she would return, but she didn’t. The girl called one of her male friends to pick her up and she stayed in his treehouse for a few days. When it was raining, she snuck inside his basement, but was caught by the boy’s parents.
Her parents were furious at her for running away, but also saw her staying with a boy as a sign that the camp was a big success.
A Woman Goes Undercover and Is Taught Absurd Myths About Lesbianism
She was also told that it parents should push feminine things onto girls and masculine things onto boys so they aren’t confused about what they like when they grow up. According to the camp, if you keep up a healthy childhood filled with strict gender distinctions, homosexuality can be prevented a majority of the time.
Conversion Camps May Just Offer Some Young People a Place to Hook Up
Is it that hard to believe some campers would start having sex with one another?