When same-sex marriage was legalised by referendum in 2015, many considered this the final chapter of LGBTQ+ activism in Ireland, a mark of equal rights finally being achieved. It’s a nice sentiment, but ultimately a naïve one. -Ellen Kenny, Features Editor of Trinity News unintentionally hitting the nail on the head.
The fledgling Anti Conversion Therapy Coalition must have held their collective breath as journalist Craig Ferrell from The Irish Sun wrapped up his quick interview with Roderic O’Gorman, Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth. Would he or wouldn’t he ask the question:
“Minister, what exactly do you mean by conversion therapy?”
Happily for these purveyors of misinformation he did no such thing. The article headlined: BAN PLAN: Roderic O’Gorman says he was unaware of how prevalent conversion therapy was in Ireland until speaking to those affected contained this definition instead:
O’Gorman is the perfect dupe for Irish transactivists. He has the portfolios of both Equality and Children, allowing them to save time by lobbying one man only about indoctrinating the next generation and about taking away women’s rights. He’s from the government’s smallest coalition member, the Green Party, whose website disgracefully dismisses the biggest fight and biggest win Irish women have had in recent times as “the human rights of the pregnant person”. And he’s a gay man who’s happy to ditch the G-word in favour of calling himself “a member of the LGBTI+ community”.
Grace Butler of the ACTC was far more candid in a disturbing article in student magazine The Trinity News two weeks ago.
Planting seeds in a person’s head, Grace? How on earth do you propose to ban all forms of therapeutic conversation that have the potential to create a seed of doubt in a dysphoric patient’s mind?
The only real way is: to ban all therapeutic conversation that isn’t a joyful affirmation of the patient’s transgender identity, which Grace knows perfectly well.
But who are the Anti Conversion Therapy Coalition? They launched in April and repeatedly refer to themselves as a group of young activists but are keeping suspiciously schtum about their membership. Chair @aarongrantdj is currently run ragged on Twitter retweeting every dismissive comment he can find about the Irish Times opinion piece by concerned therapists who inconveniently read the wording of the draft Bill. Interviewee @GraceMButler tweets often but there wasn’t a peep about her Trinity News interview. There’s no hint on social media what connection Aaron or Grace personally have to the cause of banning conversion therapy.
If the Anti Conversion Therapy Coalition had any members who had themselves experienced conversion therapy, or were close to people who had, or had been given the whiff of a threat of it, you can bet they’d be talking to journalists about it non-stop.
The truth is that even under their own twisted definition of conversion therapy, none of them can lay claim to it. It’s all theoretical to them. But it proves very useful to TENI. (Congrats on filing those 2019 accounts at last, TENI!)
Thanks again to Ellen Kenny and Grace Butler for shedding light on the strategy. Could the mere existence of a waiting list be in itself a form of conversion therapy, maybe? Who knows? The sky’s the limit! Although it’d be handy to have a few people actually claiming they suffered under conversion therapy first…
The ACTC released a little survey on Google Docs on August 5 and Lilith Ferreyra-Carroll (né Kevin Carroll) of TENI used Twitter to hint at how it should be (mis)used.
“please if you are trans or lgbqia+ fill this out…” What? Surely it’s only to be filled out by people who have experienced conversion therapy? Nobody would LIE on an anonymous google docs form, right?
“Depathologising of trans people” is a favourite phrase of Lilith’s. It sounds nice. Nobody wants to be pathologised, right? Except that it means: “making bodily alteration available on demand”.
Let’s take a break from the ACTC’s hysteria and disinformation and think about the brave words of Jacky Grainger, Madeleine Ní Dhailigh and Stella O’Malley who wrote the truth in the Irish Times yesterday.
This is the reality. And TENI and the ACTC are pulling the wool over our eyes in trying to get Fintan Warfield’s bill through the Oireachtas without anybody noticing that the Bill isn’t about conversion therapy at all.
Roderic O’Gorman last answered a question on this in May.
Get a TD from you constituency to ask him about it again – starting with, has he read the bloody thing?
My thanks to the Irish Resistance for the piece. Screenshots from the ACTC questionnaire follow.
Great post. The issue isn't being given an airing in Irish media. I contacted different programmes about Helen Joyce's book - an Irish born author - but no one wants to review it or know about it.
Nice Trojan Horse. When constructing a survey it's a good idea to identify what it is you refer to, and any terms and their context. And not lead your respondents. What is conversion therapy again exactly?
Do you not hate fluffy bunny rabbits, Y or N?
Well I like fluffy bunny rabbits, so therefore I answer Y.
Oh by fluffy bunny rabbits, we really mean rubbish bins, but you'll have to guess that's what we're inferring as were keeping this vague for a reason.
So were people seeking help, for whatever issues they had, and the help they received, was that called 'conversion therapy' at the time, might be a more useful question. What do you know 'conversion therapy' to mean? Where did you first hear the term? Who delivered it? And the conversion was from what to what - gay to straight, non-believing to believing, dysphoric to trans? Gay man to transwoman who is then 'heteronormative' or lesbian to transman who is then 'heteronormative'? Straight, heteronormative man, changing his sex to female, to become a transwoman, and a lesbian? Identity blurring. Are you finding that lesbians are not wanting to date you as they are so nasty and bigoted they keep wrongly telling you that you are not a woman, and they do not wish to have a sexual relationship with an intact man, no matter what you call your girldick?
Using the loaded term 'survivor' suggests the experience of therapy was not helpful, but assumed to be damaging. This smells like more online grooming with potentially vulnerable and confused people handing over their details.