THE fact that every therapy ever devised to “cure” homosexuality has been thoroughly discredited, there are still battalions of quacks out there – mainly of the Christian persuasion – who persist with ever more bizarre programmes aimed at “making the gay go away”.
Reports of the latest, and surely the barmiest “cure” went viral this week when it became known that something called “Equine Assisted Psychotherapy” is being practiced by The Cowboy Church of Virginia, led by chief pastor Raymond Bell. It involves some sort of interaction with horses.
This report suggests that the cracked Bell’s therapy “seems to have a bit more in common with Equus than Jesus” and pointed out that the details of the practice “aren’t incredibly clear”, even on the church’s page explaining the therapy.
It kind of seems like this ‘horse psychotherapy’ assumes that interacting with horses will cause gay men to abandon their stereotypically feminine interests in favor of cool masculine things that typify the iconic American hero: The cowboy.
No word on whether or not the folks at the Cowboy Church of Virginia have ever even heard of the film Brokeback Mountain.
This is how the church descends into psycho-babble to describe the therapy:
Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) offers experiential psychotherapy sessions to diagnosed or diagnosable clients. Natural horse and herd behavior are observed and honored as a model for healthful human behavior. Equine-assisted exercises are designed to elicit metaphors and self-awareness. These exercises help clients recognize their own behaviors and patterns and create their own solutions.
GayStarNews made contact with Bell in an effort to get more clarity on the practice. He told them:
EAP can help any person who is living the homosexual lifestyle or involved in it in anyway. The first common misconception is that homosexuality is genetic, or hereditary, or as some say ‘born this way.’ Homosexuality is actually a type of addiction. It is not ‘curable’ as a disease because it is a ‘choice driven’ by the person.
GSN notes that it can supposedly make gay men more masculine and that it is used to:
Identify how a person got ‘involved’ in homosexuality to begin with… for example, because of rape, abandonment, lacking a male role model, abuse and having low self-esteem.
Thanks to the ambiguity of “Equine Assisted Psychotherapy”, says Inquisitr, some outlets reporting on the subject are taking expected liberties with this story. Wonkette deadpans that EAP:
Requires the work of licensed professional heterosexual romance therapy horses, and the men of God who offer them up for gay men to jerk them off or whatever, I don’t understand how Jesus therapy works.
The Huffington Post points out that “conversion therapy” has become a hot topic in recent months as California became the first state to outlaw the practice on minors. Though a bill was passed by the California Legislature and was set to take effect on January 1 after being signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown in September, last week the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals issued an emergency order putting the law in limbo until it can hear full arguments on the issue.
Hat tip: BarrieJohn