Elizabeth Woning has snake oil to sell along with conversion "therapy"
Conversion “therapy” advocate Elizabeth Woning | via YouTube 2019

Conversion therapy exists as a pretext for oppression and discrimination.

“I am sad for the LGBTQ people whose families do not accept them for who they are.”

According to Heritage Foundation’s Virginia Allen: She Quit Homosexuality. Now, She’s Helping Others Do Likewise. Ms. Allen is not the brightest bulb in the chandelier.

Allen is referring to Elizabeth Woning who is employed by the Bethel Church cult. Woning has convinced a group of similar crackpots that the Equality Act would ban conversion “therapy.” (It should but it won’t.)

More importantly people do not “quit homosexuality.” Elizabeth Woning is as gay today as she ever was. For religious reasons, Woning has chosen not to engage in gay sex. However, her attractions remain the same.

That is not a guess on my part. It is a near certainty based on the research:

At most, certain studies suggested that some individuals learned how to ignore or not act on their homosexual attractions. Yet, these studies did not indicate for whom this was possible, how long it lasted or its long-term mental health effects. Also, this result was much less likely to be true for people who started out only attracted to people of the same sex.

Ms. Allen doesn’t understand or accept the fact that Woning is not “helping others” in any meaningful way. Conversion therapy in any form reinforces shame over sexual orientation and heightens minority stress while further stigmatizing LGBTQ people.

Furthermore, in real terms it always fails. People’s attractions do not change. That causes participants to believe that they have failed. In some cases they believe that they have failed, not only themselves, but that they have failed their god as well.

“LGBTQ persons would not ‘struggle’ with their sexuality were it not for the shame heaped upon them by religious zealots.”

That is why the overwhelming consensus of science and every mainstream professional organization is that:

Sexual orientation change efforts are futile and harmful.

Elizabeth Woning is a shill for a cult-like mega-church. Virginia Allen has no training or experience that could enable her to dispute the science with any degree of credibility.

Nevertheless, Allen writes:

Woning spent about 18 months trying to understand “the character of God and where I fit in that,” she said. “And the Lord was able to displace my sense of belonging as a lesbian with my sense of belonging as a daughter of God.”

The problem with that utter nonsense is that Allen is presenting Woning’s religious beliefs as the factual attainment of divine knowledge. Furthermore, LGBTQ people of faith should possess that “sense of belonging” regardless of their sexuality.

As expected, Allen mischaracterizes sexual orientation:

Today, Woning co-leads the Changed Movement, a Christian organization that works with people who are seeking to leave the homosexual lifestyle or who are struggling with same-sex attraction.

Is there a heterosexual “lifestyle?” A sexual orientation that Allen disapproves is not a “lifestyle” due to her disapproval. Bigots use “lifestyle” to suggest that sexual orientation is a choice. Moreover, it is an appeal to stereotype suggesting that all gay people have things in common.

“A trained psychologist is not required to know that what Woning did is profoundly unhealthy.”

Moreover, as for “struggling:” There is no reason for LGBTQ people to “struggle” with their sexuality. LGBTQ persons would not “struggle” with their sexuality were it not for the shame heaped upon them by religious zealots. People of faith who are sensitive to that shame are also desirous of approval. They find approval from the ex-whatever crackpots and snake-oil vendors.

There does not exist any research published to a reputable peer-reviewed academic journal which supports the notion that people can change their sexual orientation of gender identity.

A transcript of Allen’s interview with Woning follows the post. It becomes abundantly clear that Woning has always been a religious fanatic. She claims to have become heterosexual out of shame.

A trained psychologist is not required to know that what Woning did is profoundly unhealthy. Now Woning makes a living by inflicting her unhealthy pseudoscience on others.

In my own local [church] body, I was a rising elder. So, I was on the board of elders in my church, and I was grappling with my faith and decided that I would go to seminary.

So, I asked for my pastor’s recommendation or requirement to go to seminary. So, I went to seminary, openly gay, and pretty much his first words to me were, “Well, you’ll have to come out to the board of elders and resign.” So, I resigned on the basis of immorality from my church.

Woning is further dishonest:

I was not sexually active at the time. I was seeking a celibate life, but by virtue of my new identity or my newly discovered identity, I was no longer qualified. So, I resigned and then went to seminary. I graduated from seminary with a master’s [degree] in theology.

“New identity?” Woning claims that she accepted her sexual orientation at the age of 16.

Woning has every right to believe in the healing power of pistachio ice cream. No harm done. If she would only tell the truth then she would not be ridiculed.

“If someone is struggling with their sexuality then the struggling will cease by changing their church to one that is accepting.”

The truth is that religion is very important to Woning. I have no quarrel with that. Due to her religious beliefs she chose not to have gay sex or gay relationships. I have no quarrel with that either although I think that her decision is sad.

Where the bullshit comes in is Woning promoting the idea that her sexual orientation changed. It most assuredly did not. Woning further claims that she has the magic formula that enables others to change their sexual orientation. She does not and they will not.

Bethel Church’s culture encourages this dishonest behavior. Bethel has “healing rooms” that, according to Bethel Church, allow people to pray away whatever ails them. The lame walk. The blind see. Cancer is cured. Sure!

Pray-away-the-gay is just another form of “healing.” However, LGBTQ people do not need to be healed. There is nothing wrong with them that need fixing.

The real answer; the response that is responsible and honest is quite different from Woning’s toxic message. If someone is struggling with their sexuality then the “struggling” will cease if the person changes their church to one that is accepting. Problem solved the right way.

In addition to the religious pressure, Elizabeth Woning is counting on people who want to relieve the disapproval of family members. The fact that someone’s family is misinformed or has chosen adverse beliefs about sexual orientation is no reason to attempt to do something that cannot be done.

I am sad for the people who fall for this nonsense. I am sad for the families who might believe Virginia Allen and Elizabeth Woning. I am sad for the LGBTQ people whose families do not accept them for who they are.

By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.