By Alexander Campbell
Special to The Cheap Seats

I work in an environment where I regularly come into contact with medical professionals of all specialties. I also work with the public.

The other day, a woman I was speaking with was upset because the Ontario legislature was considering a bill wherein medical professionals would no longer be able to bill OHIP for what is called – in a true mangling of the English language – ‘conversion therapy’. A phrase that, one can only suppose was used because ‘psychiatric abuse of homosexuals’ came too close to truth in advertising.

The Bill would also prevent these medical professionals from treating anyone under the age 18.

The person to whom I was speaking, was outraged. She was sure that this was a part of some great agenda put forth by “The Gay Lobby” for the purpose of converting kids who may just be confused.

She protested that she should have the right to subject her kid to conversion therapy should she choose, in spite of the fact that the practice has been widely discredited by a number of medical bodies including the American Psychiatric Association.

She asked what I would do if it were my kid.

My answer to her was simple: you’re a parent, you love your kid.

They may have questions about sexuality. Answer those questions to the best of your ability. They may be gay. They’re still your kid. Be a good parent and love your kid.

We should be at the point as a society where having gay relatives shouldn’t shock us. We should be at the point as a society where, when it comes to having gay children, we should care more that they’re our kids than whether or not they’re gay.

But, we should also be at the point where we call bigotry what is and ‘conversion therapy’ is bigotry.

Being gay doesn’t need to be fixed, even if it could be.

So, if it were my kid? I’d do the same thing I did when close friends came out. I’d give them a hug, tell them nothing’s changed and that the most important thing is that they’re being true to who they are.

Be a parent, just love your kids.

Senator Alexander Campbell was campaign manager for Sir John A. Macdonald and the sixth lieutenant governor of Ontario. The actual author has asked that his name not be made public at this time and has chosen Alexander Campbell as a pseudonym in part to recognize Sir John’s 200th birthday025 PrideFlagBackground1

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