The White House releases conversion therapy report and holds Q&A for #SpiritDay

The White House is joining millions of people today by taking a stand against bullying and showing its support for LGBT youth on Spirit Day. 

This morning, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) released a new report called “Ending Conversion Therapy: Supporting and Affirming LGBTQ Youth.” The report provides an in-depth review of research and a consensus among experts, including the American Psychological Association, in finding conversion therapy to be harmful, and instead provides examples of appropriate resources and therapeutic approaches.

The report concludes that conversion therapy is not appropriate and provides other ways to discuss sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression with youth people. 

Here’s what the report determined:

"Through a collaborative process, this panel found that variations in sexual orientation and gender identity are normal, and that conversion therapies or other efforts to change sexual orientation or gender identity are not effective, are harmful, and are not appropriate therapeutic practices."

To celebrate Spirit Day, the White House is holding a Q&A on the White House Tumblr with President Obama’s Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett and SAMHSA’s Special Expert for LGBT Affairs Elliot Kennedy at 2pm ET. Ask a question here and they'll answer your questions this afternoon.

In April of this year, the White House released a statement supporting a ban on conversion therapy for minors, characterizing the so-called practice as having no place in society.  LGBT and allied appointees, including Jarrett, recorded a video explaining the importance of supporting all young people, including LGBT youth:

To continue their support today, The White House made their profile picture purple for Spirit Day on Facebook.


On October 15, Spirit Day inspires millions to "go purple" to support LGBT youth in a united stand against bullying. According to GLSEN's 2013 National School Climate Survey, 8 out of 10 LGBT students experience harassment at school, and over 60% of LGBT students who did report a bullying case said their school staff did nothing. Spirit Day draws the participation of celebrities, corporations, media outlets, sports leagues, schools, faith institutions, national landmarks, and individuals around the world to take a stand against bullying and show their support for LGBT youth.

You can go purple now by putting on purple, posting about #spiritday, and sharing your favorite #spiritday posts on social media. Go to to turn your profile picture purple and learn more ways to get involved in Spirit Day.

Spirit Day is made possible by the generous support of its presenting Partners Wells Fargo and Target; official partners DOW, Google, NBA and WNBA, NFL and WWE; and supporting partners American Eagle Outfitters, Barilla, Chobani, Comcast NBC Universal, Kirkland and Ellis, and Toyota.

Past participants in Spirit Day include the White House, the Empire State Building, Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres, Cher, Laverne Cox, Kim Kardashian, Demi Lovato, Ariana Grande, Shaquille O'Neal, Good Morning America, The Today Show, The View, The Talk, The Tonight Show, the NBA, the NFL, Major League Baseball, NASCAR, WWE, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, the Las Vegas Strip, and more.