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 a survivor-led program created by the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) in 2014 to end conversion therapy by passing laws across the country that protect LGBTQ children and young people, fighting in courtrooms to ensure their safety, and raising awareness about the serious harms caused by these dangerous practices.

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