After Leaving Homosexual Lifestyle, David Pickup Advocates for Therapy Freedom; ‘Therapy Saved My Life’
After Leaving Homosexual Lifestyle, David Pickup Advocates for Therapy Freedom; ‘Therapy Saved My Life’
Pickup Will be a Featured Speaker at the Safe Exit Summit, Co-Hosted by Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays
For Immediate Release
August 31, 2015
Deborah Hamilton, Hamilton Strategies, 215.815.7716, 610.584.1096, ext. 102, or Jen Wozniak, 610.584.1096, ext. 100, Media@HamiltonStrategies.com
RICHMOND, Va.—Earlier this month, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner signed the Conversion Therapy Prohibition Act into law, and the state became the fourth to ban “conversion therapy,” which makes it illegal for counselors, psychotherapists and others to counsel minors about homosexual identity issues, even if they voluntarily request the therapy. The measure was passed by both the Illinois House and Senate this spring.
Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX, www.pfox.org), the nation’s leading advocacy organization that offers love and support to families and friends of individuals with unwanted same-sex attractions and gender confusion, says the maneuver directly harms children whose homosexual feelings have been brought on by sexual abuse, denying them the right to seek help to overcome the trauma they experienced. The ban, adds PFOX, also harms families by denying them the right to provide support and help to their children.
David Pickup, one of the featured speakers at the third annual Safe Exit Summit, a two-day conference in October co-hosted by PFOX, says the law is harmful rather than helpful to minors and strips them of their therapy rights. Pickup, who has called himself a poster child for the emotional and sexual abuse that leads to homosexuality, works closely with PFOX and other groups to protect therapy choices.
“David Pickup has been instrumental for many years in the effort to keep therapy options open for those struggling with same-sex attraction and gender identity confusion,” said Regina Griggs, executive director of PFOX. “David will be the first to say that therapy saved his life. All of our Safe Exit Summit speakers have a story like David’s. Our message is that those with homosexual feelings and gender identity issues have the right to self determination and the freedom to get help, without government intervention. Our Safe Exit programs can help fill the gap where needed. The American Psychological Association stated in its 2009 Task Report that there is no proof of harm, and that some people benefited by sexual orientation change efforts. The APA has also stated in the past that it has not been proven that gay affirming therapy helps, yet this was not part of the therapy ban.”
After being sexually abused at a young age by a pedophile, Pickup began experiencing same-sex attractions that lasted throughout much of his life. He later participated in authentic reparative therapy that he says helped saved his life. Today, Pickup is a licensed marriage and family therapist in California with extensive expertise in reparative therapy. He also serves on the board of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH).
“This recent maneuver in Illinois directly harms children whose homosexual feelings have arisen because of sexual abuse by pedophiles and does a host of other harms to therapists and families,” Pickup said of the recent therapy ban. “How do I know this? Because I was in Illinois twice this year testifying for these abused children and for the wonderful healing that children can experience through authentic, professional therapy.”
Pickup has also testified on the “documentable truth that authentic change therapy does not harm people, that the American Psychological Association stated in its 2009 Task Report that there is no proof of harm, and that earlier in the report some people do benefit by sexual orientation change efforts,” he said. He also testified that children who do not identify with gay ideology and believe they were born as heterosexuals will have their rights for sound therapy taken away from them, as will their parents, when the government controls their therapy.
“Licensed therapists working directly within the employ of churches would also have their religious rights taken away from them by not being allowed to experience change therapy,” Pickup added. “Many reparative therapy clients experience not only behavioral change, but emotional change, which by the way, reveals their true identity. I have clients who will become suicidal if they can’t receive the kind of therapy that truly resolves their issues. And, finally, children whose homosexual feelings have arisen through sexual abuse at the hands of pedophiles would be further abused by not getting the therapy they need to eliminate those feelings.
“There’s really only one primary issue fueling this therapy ban,” he continued. “It’s not about harm, or therapy, or children. This is about the normalization of homosexuality, no matter how harm comes to children. Like so many of these kinds of laws, it’s always the children who suffer at the hands of unscrupulous adults. Why didn’t this ban bill simply make provision for those therapies that actually do work for change, and why didn’t this bill make allowances for family and religious rights? Because of the bigotry, lying nature and numbing force of an agenda forced into law by people who will do anything to get what they want.”
Pickup’s personal story is featured on the PFOX web site, along with many others.
“I was the quintessential kid who was set up for homosexuality on several levels,” Pickup recalled. “I didn’t identify well with my gender in growing up for various reasons. I wasn’t close to my father at all; I was defensively detached from him. I was also bullied by my peers because I think I was a very sensitive boy, and so I always felt odd, not ‘boy’ enough, and then later on through puberty and above that even, not man enough.”
Pickup said by puberty, he began to look at men and those with masculine identity as objects, and once his sexual hormones kicked in, he began to feel sexual attraction toward men. Eventually, Pickup saw a licensed reparative therapist, who, he says, facilitated real reparative therapy, and Pickup then learned there was hope for real change.
“My journey, that took quite a few years actually, resulted in the resolution of my gender identity inferiority, and raised my level of self-esteem, particularly as a man in my own body,” he said. “My depression and anxiety, which I had experienced a lot of during those adult years, began to lessen and dissipate, and I began to get my male emotional needs met, which I never had growing up. And as a result of that, my same-sex attractions automatically and spontaneously began to, through this therapy, lessen and dissipate.
“And so reparative therapy really worked for me,” Pickup said. “It helped save my life.”
The Safe Exit Summit is set for Oct. 2-3, 2015, following September’s Ex-Gay Awareness Month, in Washington, D.C. The event will feature a legislator education day on Capitol Hill, for those who are in support of ex-gays and individuals with unwanted same-sex attraction, so they may visit their legislators and share information with them.
Friday Oct. 2 will feature a time of praise as well as a viewing of the video “Such Were Some of You,” produced by Safe Exit Summit speaker Dr. David Kyle Foster and followed by a Q&A with Foster and the Rev. Stephen Black. Then on Saturday, Oct. 3, numerous expert speakers will address several issues to encourage, educate and edify church leaders, family members and friends, as well as those struggling with sexual identity issues.
Serving as the keynote speaker for the Safe Exit Summit will be Dr. Michael Brown, one of the most respected conservative voices in America and author of the new book, “Outlasting the Gay Revolution: Eight Principles for Long-term Cultural Change.”
Brown is widely considered to be the world’s foremost Messianic Jewish apologist. Since coming to faith in 1971 as a 16-year-old, heroin-shooting Jewish rock drummer, he has devoted his life to fostering awakening in the Church, sparking moral and cultural revolution in society, raising up gospel laborers for the nations and reaching out to his own Jewish people.
He is the host of the nationally syndicated “Line of Fire” radio broadcast, the president of FIRE School of Ministry, and a professor of Bible and Hebrew Studies at several leading seminaries. Brown has preached in more than 25 nations and is the author of 25 books and numerous scholarly and popular articles. He has debated Jewish rabbis, agnostic professors and gay activists on radio, TV and college campuses. Read more at askdrbrown.org or view his columns for The Christian Post.
Several other top-name speakers will also be featured at the Safe Exit Summit. For information and bios on additional speakers, visit www.SafeExitSummit.org/speakers.
According to Griggs, research, along with the personal experiences of ex-gays like those featured at the Safe Exit Summit, has shown that homosexuality is not innate and that change is possible. Visitors to www.pfox.org can also listen to personal stories of ex-gays who share about their lives and their decision to change.
Griggs added that thousands of men and women with unwanted same sex attractions and gender confusion make the personal decision to leave their homosexual lifestyle and identity, and seek support and help from churches in their journey. Churches interested in finding out more about Safe Exit, a program that offers resources and expert speakers to help them open their doors to the ex-gay community and those struggling with same-sex attractions and gender identity confusion, can visit www.pfox.org/safe-exit/.
Those traveling to the Washington, D.C., area for the Safe Exit Summit will be connected with the host hotel upon registration. The hotel—close to the conference site—is offering attendees a discounted rate, a free breakfast and other amenities. Registration for the two-day event is now open. Co-hosting the Safe Exit Summit with PFOX is Voice of the Voiceless and Equality And Justice For All.
PFOX is a national non-profit organization that supports families and educates the public on sexual orientation and the ex-gay community. PFOX supports an inclusive environment for the ex-gay community and works to eliminate negative perceptions and discrimination against former homosexuals by conducting public education and outreach to further individual self-determination and respect for all Americans, regardless of sexual orientation.
PFOX believes that every person seeking positive life change needs the love and support of family, friends, the community and the church, and strives to offer a place for help, a place for truth, and a place for ex-gays to participate in the conversation about same-sex attraction. PFOX families love their homosexual children unconditionally, believing that unconditional love between them and their child is based on treating each other with kindness and respect. Each year, men and women with unwanted same-sex attractions make the personal decision to seek help in overcoming a homosexual identity through gender-affirming programs, including counseling, support groups, faith-based ministries and other non-judgmental environments.
Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays is a 501(c)(3) national non-profit organization with a mission to support families and educate the public on sexual orientation and the ex-gay community. PFOX is committed to supporting parents and friends of homosexuals who want help, hope and community, and exists to provide education and resources. PFOX works toward understanding and acceptance of the ex-gay community.
To interview a representative from Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays, contact Deborah Hamilton at 215-815-7716 or 610-584-1096, or Beth Harrison at 610-584-1096, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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