I never imagined I would be in Geneva, Switzerland, but last week there I was. I was no tourist, I was there to testify before a United Nations Committee. To say this was surreal would be a vast understatement.
In the two minutes that I was given to address the U.N.’s Committee Against Torture, I fought back tears as I described how a psychotherapist, at the request of my parents, tried to change my sexual orientation through conversion therapy when I was 10 years old.
I told the Committee how the therapist said I was sick, that God hated me, and that the government was exterminating all LGBT people. My voice shook as I detailed the physical abuse I endured in an effort to make me straight, including being restrained and physically hurt.
But last week, as part of NCLR’s #BornPerfect campaign delegation, I was finally vindicated. Our testimony resulted in the Committee addressing the issue of conversion therapy with the U.S. State Department for the first time in history. We brought international awareness to conversion therapy, a dangerous and discredited practice that is still wreaking havoc in the lives of youth across the country.
As co-chair of the #BornPerfect Advisory Committee, I hope that my testimony will save other children across the U.S. and around the world. No one should ever be told that they need to change who they are. WE ARE ALL BORN PERFECT.
#BornPerfect Advisory Committee Co-Chair