TikTok Users Mike Dorn and Merry Skelton

Conversion-Therapy Survivors Form TikTok Community

TikTok users Mike Dorn and Merry Skelton
TikTok users Mike Dorn and Merry Skelton

Every week, Mike Dorn and Merry Skelton pour their hearts out on TikTok, sharing the harm of conversion therapy and family rejection, and inspiring fellow survivors with advice and personal support.

They aren’t alone. Hundreds of conversion-therapy survivors and thousands of caring supporters have formed a vibrant community on TikTok, the video-sharing social networking service, gathering more than 10 million views under the hashtags #conversiontherapy and #conversiontherapysurvivor.

“It’s very difficult for young people who are being put into conversion therapy, or threatened with conversion therapy, to reach out to anybody,” said Shannon Minter, legal director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, in an interview with the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Dorn believes that collective experience-sharing is essential to educating parents and convincing the public that conversion therapy must be banned.


Born Perfect is the leading campaign to end conversion therapy. We are survivors, lawyers, and policy experts working together to protect LGBTQ+ people nationally and around the globe. Born Perfect is a program of National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR).

instagram

Social Media Begin to Curb Conversion Therapy

Instagram
Instagram

When Facebook and Instagram announced they will exclude content that promotes conversion therapy, it was a game-changer that will finally begin to remedy a problem that social media itself inadvertently created: the explosion of conversion therapy into an internet-driven industry that has caused devastating harm to LGBTQ+ people.

Born Perfect was a key stakeholder and is proud to have provided Facebook with key technical guidance to regulate harmful content.

Removing conversion therapy content drastically reduces abusive organizations’ pipeline of fraudulent activity into the homes of youths and adults alike. Read the story and our vision for social-media safety at them.us.


Born Perfect is the leading campaign to end conversion therapy. We are survivors, lawyers, and policy experts working together to protect LGBTQ+ people nationally and around the globe. Born Perfect is a program of National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR).

instagram

Facebook, Instagram to Remove Content that Promotes Conversion Therapy

“We consulted with Facebook’s team directly on creating an algorithm to help detect advertising by conversion therapists and delete those advertisements,” said Mathew Shurka, Born Perfect co-founder and chief strategist. Now Instagram has implemented a broader ban.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 10, 2020

Contact: Christopher Vasquez
NCLR Communications Director 
cvasquez@nclrights.org / (415) 365-1337

MENLO PARK, California — Facebook and Instagram announced today that they will exclude content that promotes the harmful practice of conversion therapy – a step taken to curtail online hatred and harmful disinformation. Facebook owns Instagram.

Earlier this year, the company announced that it would no longer accept ads that promote fake “cures” for sexual orientation and gender identity. These fraudulent treatments have been shown to cause shame, depression, low self-esteem, and sometimes suicide amongst LGBTQ youth. Born Perfect worked with Facebook on this initiative.

“We consulted with Facebook’s team directly on creating an algorithm to help detect advertising by conversion therapists and delete those advertisements,” said Mathew Shurka, Born Perfect co-founder and chief strategist.

Now the official restriction applies to all content, not just ads.

“These fraudulent practitioners and organizations have exploited platforms like Instagram to prey on vulnerable LGBTQ people,” said Shurka. “Removing this harmful practice will save lives.”

Facebook explains why

“We don’t allow attacks against people based on sexual orientation or gender identity and are updating our policies to ban the promotion of conversion therapy services,” Tara Hopkins, public policy director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said in a statement reported by CNN. “We have removed violating content from @coreissuestrusttv. We are always reviewing our policies and will continue to consult with experts and people with personal experiences to inform our approach.”

Born Perfect calls upon other social media to follow Facebook’s example, and actively reduce harmful disinformation against LGBTQ+ people on their platforms.


Born Perfect is the leading campaign to end conversion therapy. We are survivors, lawyers, and policy experts working together to protect LGBTQ+ people nationally and around the globe. Born Perfect is a program of National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR).

NCLR’s #BornPerfect Campaign Hosts Twitter Town Hall on Conversion Therapy

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (January 6, 2015)—The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) will host a Twitter town hall on Thursday, January 8 at 6:30 PM ET to discuss the dangers of conversion therapy, the efforts to stop these practices once and for all, and what the community can do.

The town hall is organized days after the tragic death of Leelah Alcorn, who took her life after facing years of rejection and enduring conversion therapy. Starting now, Twitter users can submit their questions using hashtag #BornPerfect.

The town hall panelists will include:

  • Kate Kendell, Esq. @KateKendell, NCLR Executive Director.
  • Maris Ehlers @mepinmin, sister of Kirk Murphy, who took his life at the age of 38 in 2003 after enduring conversion therapy as a child.
  • James Guay, LMFT @JamesTherapy, conversion therapy survivor, marriage and family therapist, and #BornPerfect Advisory Committee Co-Chair.
  • Rev. Dr. Justin Tanis @Justin_Tanis, Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry Managing Director and co-author of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey.
  • Sam Ames, Esq. @SamSAmesEsq, NCLR Staff Attorney and #BornPerfect Campaign Coordinator.

NCLR has been at the forefront of efforts to protect youth and their families from these dangerous practices for more than two decades and helped pass legislation in California, New Jersey, and the District of Columbia. Earlier this year, NCLR launched its #BornPerfect campaign to stop conversion therapy across the country over the next five years by passing laws, fighting in courtrooms, and raising awareness about the serious harms caused by attempts to change a young person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.


Born Perfect is a survivor-led campaign to end conversion therapy created by The National Center for Lesbian Rights, a national legal organization committed to advancing the human and civil rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education.