Haaretz: Is Conversion Therapy an Illegitimate Choice?

Haaretz published an article titled:

Why is voluntary conversion therapy an illegitimate choice?

The original Hebrew is:

למה טיפול המרה מרצון הוא בחירה לא לגיטימית

The article appears behind a “paywall”, but I was given access to it, and will show a few select lines. All the material was machine-translated to English, so it is not always so accurate. The translation often gets confused with my name “Lev” which could be referring to me or “heart” (and the movie tugs on the heart, so it can get confusing) and the other character “Ben”, which could also be referring to “son”.

However, in the case of a heart, the choice to look away and not ask too many questions leads to a miss. He’s an older, complex hero and different from the familiar representation. He doesn’t meet the stereotype of a teenager or a young man like the protagonist of the biopic “Burned Child,” who is sent to conversion therapy without realizing what they’re doing to him and why. Heart to Maud experience, he’s been in therapy before. He knows very well where he’s getting into, and that’s his choice.

What makes an immigrant from the United States, educated, father of adult children, who has been aware of his sexual orientation for decades, choose this path of anguish? Lev is fluent and speaks with openness. He is intriguing, complex and heart-residing, but unable to come out of himself and out of his thoughts. When the director chooses to be a fly on the wall, Lev is an easy character to miss.

While Ben provides good proof of the need to ban conversion therapies for minors, Lev offers a more complex perspective. Haredi believes that he does not deny his sexual orientation at all, but decides, like an ordinary, gay or straight Haredi, that his libido will not define his religious beliefs. He poses the question, why is this an illegitimate choice?

נתנאל שלומוביץ in Haaretz, July 4, 2021

In the end, the documentary seemingly accomplished its goal with this writer: To get him to question everyone who says, “conversion therapy is illegitimate” and ask them, “Why??”

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