Reorientation, Old School Style

Timothy Kincaid

September 27th, 2007

peteprice.gifPete Price is a radio personality in the UK. The Liverpool Echo has an extract of his autobiography Pete Price is a Namedropper. Price describes some of the methods used on him to cure his homosexuality:

In the morning I was shown into a windowless room with a male nurse. A crate of Guinness arrived, and I was given a stack of dirty magazines showing body builders – not the sort of thing that would have turned me on in a million years.

The nurse started playing the tape of my conversation. I sat and listened, flicking through the books with a pint, not knowing what the hell was going on.

Then he gave me an injection and suddenly I started feeling sick.

“I think I’m going to vomit!” I yelled out. “I need a basin.”

The doctor smiled. “Then be sick.”

“I think I’m going to go to the toilet.”

“Just do it on the bed.”

I screamed: “You’re joking.”

All the while the tape of the doctor’s questions was playing in the background, over and over: “What you do is disgusting.”

It continued for 72 hours – the drink, the injections, the vomiting and excrement – hour after hour.

All I could think was that I wasn’t going to get out alive.

When it ended, I lay there sobbing, the doctor came in.

“Now you’ve got to have the electrodes … ” he said.

That’s just a little something to think about whenever anti-gays start missing the good ol’ days of “homosexuality is an illness”.

Mike Airhart

September 27th, 2007

Hmmm, which ex-gays and reparative therapists would you say promote nostalgia for the days when “illness” was “treated” through patient abuse?

Jeffrey Satinover, perhaps?

Anyone else?

Timothy Kincaid

September 27th, 2007

Mike,

Most don’t talk about the treatment but instead want to blather about how the change in classification was “political”. We’ve all heard it, sometimes from the NARTHies and sometimes from others.

But when they romaticize those good ol’ days, we should remember that the “treatment” in those good ol’ days was at times horrific.

Emily K

September 27th, 2007

That’s terrible. I’m sorry I read that. I’m truly truly sorry that people endured that.

howller

September 27th, 2007

There were, of course, worse treatments, as we know, in the form of lobotomies. But it may be that the vomit therapy left more emotional scars.

Lynn David

September 28th, 2007

I don’t know if it’s my cousin’s meatloaf or reading this but I’ve gotta run….

Benton

September 28th, 2007

I shouldn’t be, but I am continually surprised how inhuman we humans can be.

Jim Burroway

September 28th, 2007

Last summer I learned that a good friend of mine endured similar “therapy” in the late 1980’s. Yes, like Benton said, it’s hard to believe how inhuman we humans can be.

I think an important thing to keep in mind is this: These clients were so driven by a deeply homophobic society whose messages they internalized that they mostly volunteered to be treated this way. I have no doubt that if these treatments were still available, there would still be people signing up, either out of religious pressure or other pressures derived from internalization of negative judgments from society.

Any ethical discussion of conversion therapy MUST address this particular problem at length. It is a HUGE factor in driving people to therapies which reinforce their self-hatred, which may produce more injury, and which have an extremely low chance for success — unless you were to consider a lifetime of celibacy success.

Jessica

September 28th, 2007

I feel sick myself after reading this. I think people who say that the gay community has never suffered should be made to read this.

PiaSharn

September 29th, 2007

This form of aversion therapy reminds me a lot of what was done to the character of Alex in A Clockwork Orange

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