What Is Gay Conversion Therapy?

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Yes, it’s 2017, and apparently we still need educational videos on why gay “conversion therapy” is ridiculous, useless, and hurtful. In a clip from Bill Nye Saves the World, Nye uses ice cream to explain gay conversion therapy and why it doesn’t make any sense.

The clip starts with a meeting of different ice cream flavors like vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry. Vanilla starts the meeting and says, “I feel that I am the most natural of the ice creams.” Vanilla then tells the other flavors that they need to change and be just like him: “Everyone should pretend to be vanilla until they no longer have the urge not to be vanilla.” Gay conversion therapy works under a similar premise; it’s the idea that someone’s “gayness” can be changed.

At first, some of the ice creams are distraught until mint chocolate chip asks vanilla if he’s ever wanted to be in a Neapolitan. Vanilla resists at first, until it mixes with other flavors and all the ice creams end up happy together.

The video is a nuanced take on what gay “conversion therapy” is, but make no mistake: the practice, as described by the Human Rights Campaign, is “dangerous” and “discredited.” Numerous medical associations, including the American Medical Association and the American Psychiatric Association, have disavowed the practice and list the potential negative effects that come with the therapy as “depression, anxiety, and self-destructive behavior.” Watch the full video above to see why gay conversion therapy needs to end.