Survivors Celebrate ‘This Is What Love In Action Looks Like’

A panel discussion among five conversion-therapy survivors, produced May 21, 2020, following a screening of the 2011 documentary, This Is What Love In Action Looks Like. The discussion was hosted by Born Perfect Virginia Ambassador Adam Trimmer.

Hey y’all! (Proper Virginia Greeting)  

My name is Adam Trimmer, and I’m the Virginia Ambassador for Born Perfect. I, along with many others, have fought hard by speaking at different health regulatory board meetings, and legislative sessions to help bring about an end to the harmful and discredited practice of conversion therapy.

As you know, Virginia is now the 20th state to pass legislation that protects youth from conversion therapy. This is an incredible step, and we are really excited to have you join us. This was our first digital panel and movie screening, so feel free to share about it!   

The Movie

This is What Love in Action Looks Like. Morgan Fox, Director. Please take a moment to learn about the very talented director behind the film that we show here. Visit his website to discover more of his projects over his impressive 15-year career as a producer and director.

Movie trailer on YouTube
Full movie for rent on Vimeo

Individuals and Organizations Represented on the Panel

Mathew Shurka
Co-Founder, Born Perfect
Conversion Therapy Survivor

Mathew experienced conversion therapy in Virginia, and today he is helping end the practice. As the co-founder of Born Perfect, he has helped survivors from across the country become fierce advocates for our community. Explore our website to learn more about the campaign, the staff members, and how you can get involved!

Garrard Conley
Author, Boy Erased
Creator and Producer, UnErased: A History of Conversion Therapy in America

If you have not listened to Garrard’s podcast, UnErased, I would highly recommend giving it a listen prior to this screening. His memoir, Boy Erased, was adapted into the Golden Globe-nominated film of the same name in 2018, and the UnErased podcast tells more of the story. Visit his website to learn more about Garrard’s work, including his memoir, podcast, interviews, and other publications.

Luke Wilson
Ph.D Candidate at Florida Atlantic University
Conversion Therapy Survivor

Luke Wilson has brought a lot of visibility to Virginians about conversion therapy’s existence on college campuses. Luke gave this phenomenal talk at Florida Atlantic University, and he also wrote an article for Queerty and RVA Magazine.

Lisa Linsky, Esq.
Partner, McDermott Will & Emery
Outside Counsel, Mattachine Society of Washington, D.C.

Please visit the Stop Conversion Therapy website for valuable information gathered by the Mattachine Society of Washington, D.C. The site includes a downloadable copy of “The Pernicious Myth of Conversion Therapy”, also known as “The White Paper.” Lisa Linsky was the architect and principal drafter of The White Paper; it is both an educational and emotional journey through the history of conversion therapy.

Additional Information

Pray Away Film – Visit prayaway.com to discover more about the upcoming movie, Pray Away.

Mama Bears – Discover the Mama Bears organization at realmamabears.org.


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).

Virginia Becomes 20th State to Protect LGBTQ Youth from Conversion Therapy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 3, 2020
Contact: Christopher Vasquez, NCLR Communications Director
cvasquez@nclrights.org / (415) 365-1337

Virginia Becomes 20th State to Protect LGBTQ Youth from Conversion Therapy

With Governor’s signature, VA becomes the first Southern state to end the harmful practice

RICHMOND, Virginia — Yesterday Governor Ralph Northam signed a historic bill making Virginia the twentieth state to protect LGBTQ minors from conversion therapy, the harmful practice which seeks to change a young person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. The bill, which passed both chambers of the VA legislature in February, will go into effect on July 1.

The Governor’s signature also makes Virginia the first state in the South to end the practice that has been widely condemned by every leading medical and mental health organization in this country.

Virginia joins 19 other states, the District of Columbia, and more than 60 municipalities that have adopted similar protections.

“Across the country, state legislatures are recognizing that the harm caused by conversion therapy is a public health crisis,” said Mathew Shurka, a conversion therapy survivor and Co-Founder of Born Perfect. “Virginia is the twentieth state to pass a law protecting LGBT youth, and the first to do so in the South. As the leading national campaign working to end conversion therapy, Born Perfect will not rest until LGBT youth are protected in every state.”

“As a Virginia survivor who has been working to pass this bill for more than two years, I am grateful to our state legislators and Governor Northam for listening to survivors and their families,” said Adam Trimmer, a conversion therapy survivor and Born Perfect Virginia Ambassador. “No young person should be subjected to this abuse, and no family should be exploited by unethical therapists who lie to parents and cause life-threatening harm.”

“The campaign to end conversion therapy is by far the largest and fast-growing LGBT-related movement in this country,” said National Center for Lesbian Rights Legal Director Shannon Minter. “Since California passed the first law in 2012, the visibility of this issue has increased dramatically, and more and more survivors have come forward. Virginia is the first Southern state to pass a law, but it will not be the last.”

For more than 25 years, NCLR has been leading the fight against conversion therapy. Since 2014, NCLR’s Born Perfect Campaign has brought survivors and legal experts together to support legislation protecting LGBTQ youth from conversion therapy.

Momentum on this work continues to build, with a record-breaking number of states and localities taking action to protect youth in the past 12 months, including North Carolina, Kansas City, Missouri, and Minneapolis, Minnesota. Most recently, rules were adopted in the conservative state of Utah that protect LGBTQ minors from conversion therapy

According to an estimate from the Williams Institute from UCLA Law, more than 350,000 LGBTQ minors have been subjected to the dangerous practice of “Conversion Therapy,” which studies have linked to these youth being more than twice as likely to experience depression, and nearly three times more likely to attempt suicide.


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.