Here is more from the campaign’s gofundme page:
The campaign was launched by Jeremy Jordan, who is a star on HBO’s show, Supergirl. He is very concerned over the backward thinking that has sent his lesbian cousin to a “Christian” boarding school to rid her of “her sin of being a homosexual.” Before quoting Jeremy Jordan’s story, I would like to remind readers that:
The World Psychiatric Association (WPA), consisting of nearly 200 countries, made a declaration in March 2016. The declaration was written to the United Nations and to world leaders on the topic of the harm of reversal therapy for homosexuals. The declaration pointed out that since homosexuality CANNOT be reversed, it is NOT a choice! The sad part of this story is that some Christians are conveying to gays and lesbians that their Creator, rejects them. This is based on Leviticus written 3,500 years ago when starting a fire was done with rubbing two sticks together. Would these same Christians go to a physician with his/her knowledge of medicine/science/inventions going back 3,500 years ago.
Here is Jeremy Jordan’s story and his launching of a gofundme page:
Meet my cousin Sarah. At 17, her future looks bright. She is in the top 10% of her class, runs cross-country and belongs to the National Honor Society and the debate team. She is also gay. Like any high school kids in a relationship, Sarah and her girlfriend wanted to go to prom together. But when they did that, Sarah’s parents, who believe that homosexuality is a sin and abnormal, sent Sarah away against her will to an East Texas Christian boarding facility for troubled teens to “pray away the gay.”
Not only does this type of “therapy” not work, mental health professionals from organizations like the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics have found it to be psychologically damaging, especially for minors. And Sarah has been told that she must stay in this facility for a whole year. So instead of being surrounded by friends and extended family who love and support Sarah for who she is, she’ll be isolated in a place where the fact that she is gay is treated as a sin and an illness. Instead of preparing for college and competing in the state debate tournament, she’ll be doing forced labor every day and enduring Bible-based “therapy” for her “disease.”
She is not allowed phone calls or email or any form of computer communication. She is also not allowed visitors and cannot leave the property. She is completely cut off from the outside world. She tried to run away, but was caught by the staff and returned to the facility.
Sarah’s extended family and close friends are trying to win her release through the legal system, but it’s not cheap. Attorney’s fees in the first few weeks have already exceeded $20,000, and they are continuing to mount, with a full hearing set for July. Sarah needs your help. But this is about more than just one gay kid – if we free Sarah we can help show that it’s not okay to try to make gay teens straight by sending them away and using the threat of God against them.
Spread the word so being gay doesn’t mean losing freedom for Sarah. #savesarah.
Above is the link where the horrendous stories have been taken.
How Do Some of These Homes Operate?
The boarding school that Sarah has been sent to is not listed. However, it is in the Bible Belt and many of these “Christian”
schools run with little supervision. While many may not resort to torture related abuse – such as food deprivation, basic standards for state intervention were repealed in the late 1990. Here is a report from Homeschoolers’ Anonymous article:
NEW BEGINNINGS GIRLS ACADEMY
When Jeannie Marie picked up her daughter Roxy from New Beginnings Girls Academy [in Missouri], her daughter was a shadow of her former self. Three months at the academy destroyed her. She endured food deprivation, medical neglect, and severe emotional and physical abuse. Despite urinary tract infections and menstrual complications from a recent gang rape, she was routinely denied toilet paper and sanitary pads, locked in isolation cells, and forced to say she was “the daughter of the devil.”[ii] In desperation, the 17-year old attempted suicide.
Roxy is not a unique case. Here is her story:
New Beginnings Girls Academy is the girl’s home that I was placed in by my mom. . . . They claim that their program offers a combination of spiritual guidance, Biblical teaching, and a healthy, loving atmosphere to help develop character and provide a foundation for confronting the many complex decisions in “growing up.”
What they don’t say is ANYTHING about what the home is really like. They don’t bother to mention their ways of dealing with issues, how they enforce their religion, and how they prevent the student from anything outside the home such as abuse hot lines, doctors, dentists, etc.
. . . Bill McNamara, the owner of the home, would scream in our faces about how we were going to hell, our families were going to hell because of us, we were sinners, we were unclean, and many other things. Bill McNamara is the leader of the home as well as his wife, Jennifer McNamara. During my stay of two and a half years, the most staff members we ever had at one time were three. Usually it was only one staff member to ever fifteen to twenty girls. The McNamara’s were really obsessed with anything to do with sex, sexual orientation, or anything else sex-related. I can remember several separate instances of Bill McNamara coming into our dorm and saying, “It smells like sin in the camp.”
What he was referring to was that him he could smell masturbation had been going on. I never did see anyone masturbating, but still, he was obsessed with that. . . .
I was one of the very few that came in as an open, out lesbian. I did not hide my sexuality. . . . Bro Mac (as we were supposed to call Bill McNamara) preached at me numerous times screaming about homosexuality being “nasty” and “gross.” On one occasion I remember him conducting chapel. That night he was running around the cafeteria and screaming like a wild man and throwing tomatoes as he screams about hell. He literally got his face as close as he could to mine and screamed at me for being a “fag.” He screamed that he would “never let no girl lay lips on me” and how nasty I was. Him and his wife focused on bringing me down each and every day to break me down into the perfect little Baptist that they wanted me to be. I can’t tell you how many thousands of tears ran down my face during those long two and a half years. . .
When I wasn’t “right with God” according to them, they would put me as well as many other girls on “discipline.” Discipline was one of the many cruel forms of torture there. We were all required to stand facing the [wall] for hours. We had to stand with our toes to the floor board and just stare literally only a couple inches, if that, away from the wall. . . .
Life off of discipline was not very much better. We were NOT allowed to talk at all to each other unless it was “Friday Fun Night.” Only then, on Friday nights, were we allowed to talk to each other. If they noticed that you were getting “too close” to someone, as in becoming too good of friends with someone there, they would automatically place you on “separation” from that person.
Separation meant that you could not look at, talk to (when allowed to talk), comment off of, take anything from, give anything to, etc that person that you were separated from. Their main goal was to make you feel like you were alone by isolating you from anything familiar. We were not allowed to talk about our past at all. Phone calls were allowed one time every two weeks for fifteen minutes each. We could not call out, our parents had to call us. If we were to tell our parents that we were not okay, something was wrong, or anything else “negative” about the home, the staff would automatically discontinue the call. We were allowed to write letters every Friday. The letter was required to be a page and a half. Those were heavily monitored. Anything at all showing that you were unhappy was threw away. Letters mailed in to us were also read. If anything talked about our past, friends, or anything, they would throw them away and not tell us. Our parents could only visit once every six months for three days. To get a visit, you had to be in the home for six months and be going along with the program to Bill McNamaras satisfaction. If you “weren’t right with God,” still upset about being there, or a threat to them that you might run away, you would not get a visit no matter how long you were there. Life was hard.
The home was on 24/7 lock down. We could not leave anywhere even if we wanted or needed to. If a door didn’t have a lock on the inside, staff or extremely trusted girls would have to sit or stand in front of it. We called that “posting.” If anyone came close to the door, the person posting was allowed to hit them or do whatever it took to get them and prevent them from running. I can’t tell you how many times I would sit there wondering if I would ever get to leave the home.
LAST WORDS FROM JEREMY
Instead of being surrounded by friends and extended family who love and support Sarah for who she is, she’ll be isolated in a place where the fact that she is gay is treated as a sin and an illness,’ Jordan says.
At the time of writing, the fundraiser has raised $5,241 (£3,600) out of a $100,000 goal (£69,000), about 5% of the goal.
The funds will be used for a court case due in July, initiated by her extended family and friends.
The effectiveness of conversion therapy has been rejected by most main psychological and psychiatric bodies, including the American Psychiatric Association: which writes the diagnostic manual (DSM).
Jordan has said Sarah has tried to flee the facility but was caught and brought back.
He said she will be doing ‘forced labour’ and ‘Bible-based “therapy” for her “disease”
‘But this is about more than just one gay kid – if we free Sarah we can help show that it’s not okay to try to make gay teens straight by sending them away and using the threat of God against them,’ Jordan says.