Conversion Therapy Map Quilt

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Gay conversion therapy is a practice primarily administered to children under 18 that purports the ability to change a person’s sexual orientation from gay to straight. Innumerable scientific studies have shown sexuality to be predetermined prior to birth, not something that anyone chooses or can be changed. This practice has been discredited by virtually all psychological and scientific organizations, showing that while this practice cannot change someone’s sexuality, it can do irreparable harm to an already marginalized group by the use of aversion therapy involving nudity and intimate touching, violent role play, reenactments of abuse and deprivation. In essence, parents send their children to torture the gay away, which doesn’t work.

Statistics on Victims of Conversion Therapy

The purpose of me making this quilt is not to challenge anyone’s religious beliefs. I get it, some folks think being gay is a sin. I would politely disagree since I did not choose this and consider myself to be both moral and of sound mind. However, I am trying to educate since many folks who I’ve chatted with about this practice do not know that it’s something that is legally practiced in 2019. Many former leaders of “Ex-Gay” Organizations has subsequently come out as gay and are now standing in opposition of this brutal practice.

Conversion Therapy Map Quilt

The initial layer of this quilt is an appliqued rainbow of what the United States should be, where everyone can live their truth without fear of persecution and where kids won’t be tortured because their own truth challenges their parent’s value system. This layer was quilted by Jason Bieber of Kingfisher Quilt Company, who individualized the topography of various states based on landmarks in each area.

Below is the current state of conversion therapy in the United States. I basted grayed out versions of each state where the practice is still legal and intend to remove the gray state once it is banned. 18 states and Washington D.C. have banned this practice on minors, with some municipalities in the other states also banning the practice. Utah is set to be the 19th State to ban the practice in January of 2020.

If you are in one of these gray states, please contact your legislators, senators, governor to let them know they should ban this practice in your state. Here is an interactive link to find out who to contact and what legislation is up for discussion. https://www.equalityfederation.org/lac/conversiontherapy/

Additionally, Born Perfect is an organization with a mission “To end conversion therapy and ensures that every child knows that they are born perfect.” You can join the movement and make donations on their page.

Being a parent myself, unconditional love is the easiest thing that I provide to my daughter. No child should be tortured for discovering their truth. Please help any way that you can.

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13 Comments

  1. Catherine

    My daughter came out at 18 years old…I would never want to change one thing about her!

  2. ShellyM

    My Brother who was my best friend hung him self because our parents wouldn’t have accepted him.
    Now I have a son who I’ve know for years in gay he just turned 18 and I would never Love him any less !! I would be proud of him. For having to courage and to know he is accepted for who he is!! Well done to those who stand up for Gay Pride and for not being afraid to be Gay!! They make the most AMAZING FRIENDS!
    Mathew you are Amazing you such an amazing example and your Daughter has A Dad to be VERY PROUD OFF!!
    ?️‍? I wish my brother had the courage and understanding all those years ago?

  3. Angie

    Thank you for sharing helping to educate! I honestly had no idea conversation therapy was what you described (not that I would have ever sent any of my kids to something like that anyway)!! I’m so happy to hear that my state, Utah, will be banning it. Love you and the good work you do both in quilting g and otherwise.

  4. Donna Rogers

    Thank you for sharing this. I had no idea that conversation therapy was still happening. I know, I live in a haze. This is not right, stupid. Leave people alone. I live in Virginia, sad that I live in a state where this type of torture, bullying is still happening. This is not right!

  5. Mary R

    What a brilliant, stunning way to bring attention to this issue. My heart dropped when I saw how many states still allow gay conversion “therapy.” My home state, Massachusetts, banned it just last spring. Please, Matthew, exhibit the quilt wherever you can. Reproduce it everywhere, and on everything. Lobby Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D.-N.Y.) to exhibit it in the U.S. Capitol; undoubtedly, this would help move his legislation to outlaw Medicaid funding for gay conversion therapy out of committee, where it’s been languishing since March. All of us can help by asking our U.S. Representatives to co-sponsor this legislation. That would raise this abhorrent practice’s visibility and, ultimately, force states to act.

    1. Cindi J

      This is such an eye-opening post!!! I did not know that Medicaid funds this sort of therapy!!!

  6. Wendy

    I am so proud of my gay son and wouldn’t change him for the world. I am shocked that in 2019 this is still being allowed to happen. Your daughter is beautiful and so lucky to have you for her dad ♥️

  7. Christina Johnson

    Beautifully written post and a project that will impact people emotionally, educate and inspire a demand for change that is urgently necessary! ?

  8. Danice G

    Such a truthful, heartfelt post. Yes, no one should love anyone less due to their sexual orientation or any other subject. The USA map quilt is gorgeous.

  9. Sylvia Westover

    Thank you.

  10. Cindi J

    To see this horrible practice is so widespread in these modern times… well, I am appalled on so many levels that I can barely find words to speak the rage. This is a stunning piece, Mathew – in design, color, totally amazing quilting and revelation. This should be displayed in a prominent place in a museum for all to see and learn of this shameful practice (behind glass, for it is priceless). The darkness must be illuminated. Wide-spread education will begin to help stop this horrendous crime and you have taken the courageous first step.

  11. Nikki Velazquez

    My daughter is gay and there is nothing wrong with that! Thank you for making this quilt.

  12. Kathy

    What a fabulous idea to raise awareness! Very grateful to be living in a non-grayed-out state. ?

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