Not many stories are sadder than this one, nor tell us more about who we are. Who some of us are.
Kirk survived his ordeal, and he continued to grow up under relative anonymity. Neither he nor his family knew that he was the subject of nearly two decades of discussion among behavioral therapists working to change their clients’ sexual orientation. Through it all, Rekers wrote that Kirk had a “normal male identity, had normal aspirations for growing up to be married and have a family, and was well-adjusted as a teen-age boy in general.” The truth was far different. His suicide attempt at the age of seventeen was unsuccessful. But twenty years later, he took his life on December 21, 2003. He was 38.
Anderson Cooper is doing a three-part series on the story.
There have been countless examples of right-wingers denying reality to push an agenda, more often than not motivated by the religious fanaticism (or religious adherence to the god of Reaganism and selfishness) that permeates the teabagger wing (meaning pretty much the whole of it) of the current corpse of the Republican party. Their climate-change denial will merely destroy our planet; their attempts to Christianize education will only destroy our country; tax cuts will only complete our bankruptcy; claiming that homosexuality is an affront to their god and that it's a choice will only prevent nameless millions from being able to marry... But in the case of the insane rejectionism that is conversion therapy they may as well have put a gun in the kid's face and pulled the trigger. It's specific. It's horrifying. And it's inexcusable, even as -- because -- they believe they're doing the will of their god.