November 29, 2012
Many are familiar with Ryan Kendall’s story because of his testimony during the Proposition 8 trial. When his parents found out he was gay, they sent the teen to shame-driven ex-gay therapy, constantly rejecting him by telling him he’d burn in hell, that he was disgusting, and that he was hated. The “therapy,” performed by NARTH founder Joseph Nicolosi, drove him “to the brink of suicide,” leading to a decade of struggles with depression, homelessness, and drug abuse after he declared independence from his unaccepting family. Kendall has since become an outspoken advocate against ex-gay therapy. When he agreed to discuss the topic with Dr. Drew on his HLN show yesterday, it was on the condition that he not have to appear with David Pickup, a NARTH spokesperson who claims homosexuality is caused by sexual abuse and who is part of a suit to overturn California’s ban on ex-gay therapy for minors (SB 1172). Unfortunately, Dr. Drew put them on together anyway, and Kendall in turn held no punches in decrying Pickup’s harmful distortions of reality: