Counselling, Supervision, Training, Research, Teaching, Writing. Providing therapeutic services to the people of East Lancashire and beyond.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Gay Cures and Red Hair

Yesterday the Guardian published an article on the passing of laws in California to outlaw gay conversion therapy: California banishes controversial 'gay cure' therapies to 'dustbin of quackery' Democrat Governor Jerry Brown signed the Bill making California the first state in the Union to outlaw the use of gay conversion practises on children and young people. A victory then for humanity and common sense!

Meanwhile a letter from the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) drops through the letter box at Marsden Towers. The first 'Statement of Ethical Practice' and one in which the BACP echo the views of the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) stating that 'practices such as conversion or reparative therapies "have no medical indication and represent a severe threat to the health and human rights of the affected persons".' It goes on to say that 'the diversity of human sexualities is compatible with normal mental health and social adjustment' and concludes, 'BACP believes that socially inclusive, non-judgemental attitudes to people who identify across the diverse range of human sexualities will have positive consequences for those individuals, as well as for the wider society in which they live'.

These two developments are to be hugely welcomed - victories against the homophobia espoused by the religious right in the UK and America. Unable to accept that God might have created gay people along with everyone else, the religious right push the idea that being gay is a 'lifestyle choice' and inherently sinful or pathological. In my view being gay is as much a choice as being left handed or having red hair. You may know that left handed people were once also persecuted by the Church whilst people with red hair are in a minority and subject to insults from a society with thatches of plain black and mousy brown.

Can we extend the metaphor and liken gay conversion therapy to hair dye for people ashamed of their red hair? Keep applying the dye if you must, but deep down your hair is still red and will emerge and be  restored to its former glory when you're more comfortable with yourself and your natural hair colour. It's so you!


  1. Same goes for grey hair. I know of barely any women who don't dye out their white hairs. I am relatively freaky in that I actually like my silver hairs. I wonder how I would handle dying (as opposed dyeing!) if I couldn't handle my hairs going silver. I always liked silver anyway...

  2. Silver threads amongst the gold Amanda!

  3. I have never heard that song before. It made me cry!