Florida A & M University Law Review



This article proceeds in six parts. Part I dissects the development of the conservative narrative that queerness is a contagious trait, how the gender norm perpetuates a broad rejection of homosexuality, and the concept of “cured passing” in terms of conversion therapy success stories. Part II examines the progression of the general LGBT rights movement by highlighting its historic adult-centered victories and elaborating how these victories allowed for the necessary space and momentum for the contemporary movement of state conversion therapy bans to gain traction. Part III provides the background and history of conversion therapy by exploring its medical origin and contemporary implementation. Further, Part III analyzes in-depth the many real harms experienced by participants due to conversion therapy. Part IV examines the current legislative and litigation efforts by LGBT activists in ending conversion therapy. Part V proposes various tortious and criminal charges that LGBT advocates may consider bringing on behalf of conversion therapy survivors. Additionally, Part V highlights contemporary programs aimed at educating those about non-heterosexual attractions and promotes the acceptance of queer youth. The article concludes with a call to protect queer youth and notes the most current state to pass a state-wide conversion therapy ban in 2020. Through a careful analysis of the harm to LGBT adolescents, this Article’s ambition is to provide a legal context for possible protections for queer youth and their allies.