Dear Republican Party,
Well, you’ve crafted quite a platform this time around. I look forward to seeing the votes on it at this week’s big convention, and to the rains of frogs and/or plagues of locusts that are sure to follow if it doesn’t pass.
You’ve gotten flak for proposing some platform planks that some people are interpreting as hostile to the LGBT community, but we know that’s not really true. You wouldn’t think about so much if there weren’t some love there. Or at least a confusing attraction.
The assertion that parents should be able to get “therapy” to help un-gay or de-trans their kids may seem cruel to outsiders, but clearly it’s a sign of genuine respect and concern. It is, however, misguided. For one thing, you’re calling for therapy for kids, which sounds awfully close to admitting that one might be born that way. Another, perhaps even tricker problem is that it doesn’t work.
…Or at least not the way you’ve been doing it.
If you’re really, lovingly serious about helping us straighten out and cis up, you need to show it by committing to an action plan that will make a real difference.
If you’re going to look at same-sex love and nonbinary gender as diseases, do what you would do for any epidemic that is ravaging the population and hold some damn fundraisers. Bikeathons and 5K runs are all very good, but I think you should commit with some $1,000-a-plate auction dinners and rainbow-themed product lines.
Unfortunately, since the ex-gay ministries have a bit of a credibility problem, you probably shouldn’t send the money to them. There’s an easy solution, though. Put all the money into a giant fund. You’re familiar with those. Then, in much the same way that your proposed First Amendment Defense Act would allow business owners to fire or refuse to serve members of the LGBT community if they hold sincere religious beliefs, you’ll simply give grants to LGBT folks who sincerely promise to try to change. Feel free to offer them helpful resources such as Kirk Cameron videos. Or make some new videos of your own! I can almost assure you that members of the LGBT community will watch them in large, enthusiastic groups. Probably on a double bill with Showgirls to reinforce proper gender roles.
Remember that, much like quitting smoking, de-gaying may take several tries, so be sure to keep that fund topped up. Maybe set up monthly auto-donations or personal sponsorships so that you can be sure you’re always working to make lives better and straighter.
Get Us Out Of Our Usual Environment
As you know, if you want to create significant behavioral changes, it helps a great deal to break one’s normal routine until the new habit sets in. It’s also important to remove other stressors while one works on the main problem. Thus, it’s important to get as many gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transfolk as possible to cozy, isolated ski chalets and Tahitian bungalows right away. In a pinch, you could help a lot of people on a budget by funding Caribbean cruises. But you need to be sure that the cruise patients are working on a cure, so be sure to have plenty of rainbow-themed sponsorship products around.
It takes at least three weeks to break old habits and new ones, so your charges will need significant vacation time. Since your proposed religious freedom bill is definitely not about depriving members of the LGBT community of their homes and livelihoods and you wouldn’t want to be falsely perceived as trying to do so, you should probably add a little funding to cover rent or give a boost to people who don’t have that kind of vacation time.
(Yes, that’s a lot. But if you’re serious about finding a cure, it’s the least you can do. Maybe some more fundraisers? Bingo nights are fun.)
Try Aversion Therapy
Again, the old techniques of exposing LGBT people to media depicting the behavior you’d like them to adopt just doesn’t seem to work, no matter how tightly you clip their eyelids back.
You know what does work? Making sure a kid never starts smoking by giving him as big a drag as he wants on a cigarette. And if what you really care about is results, you have to go with what works. So — and yes, this may take just a few more fundraisers — your best course of action is to sponsor some get-togethers where people can be as L, G, B, or T as they want. You know, let them see how bad it is and get it out of their systems.
You might try cruise ships again as a controlled, contained space, but that starts to be impractical. Your most cost-effective solution in the long run would be to sponsor clubs of some sort where your LGBT patients could get together and try as much aversion therapy as they want at their leisure.
There are rumored areas of LGBT concentration where one might center these clubs for people who are sincerely trying to get better, but in many cities these neighborhoods are disintegrating thanks to encroachment by wealthy tech bros moving in and driving up rents.
So what you might want to do — Just a few more fundraisers! Perhaps karaoke contests? Or comedy roasts? — is use some of the money from that giant slush fund to establish or re-establish centers of gay culture. Really let people O.D. on it. You could subsidize the founding of clubs in these areas, reclaiming the neighborhoods for people who are working to change for the good of the nation. You could even encourage people to get on board with the program by offering incentives to gather and participate. Coffee, perhaps, or drink specials, and then maybe a suitable space for dancing and really getting averse. If you’d like people to associate their hard work with churchgoing time, you should also underwrite several establishments that offer truly incredible brunches.
Really dive into the program and show that you’re serious. Maybe get the Kochs to kick in? Put your shoulders to the wheel, drop as much cash as you need to, and lean in. You probably still won’t get the LGBT vote, but this might just be the year that the community finally, finally thanks you for all your hard work.