Past Meetup

"Gay Conversion Therapy, You Make Me Sick" - Prof. Sheldon Helms

This Meetup is past

21 people went


This month Atheist Advocates of SF features:

Prof. Sheldon W. Helms speaking on "Gay Conversion Therapy, You Make Me Sick."As our country deals the issues of Marriage Equality, gays in the military, and other forms of inclusion of gays and lesbians into mainstream society, and as Russia and others institute draconian laws limiting the rights of their gay and lesbian citizens, fringe religious and therapeutic organizations have operated mostly in the shadows, attempting to "convert" their homosexual clients to heterosexuality through a mixture of prayer and pseudoscience.

Helms describes the history of attempts to define homosexuality as an illness and to make gays go straight. He details such aspects as: the goals and viewpoints of those involved in Gay Conversion Therapy; their pseudoscientific and sometimes dangerous practices; and a description of the results of over 100 years of attempts to alter sexual orientation.

Some forms of Gay Conversion Therapy have been outlawed in California and New Jersey, and one of the primary institutions that promoted it has announced its closure, but what are the real stories behind these announcements, and do they go far enough?


Sheldon Helms is an associate professor of psychology at Ohlone College in Fremont, CA. He has taught psychology for more than 16 years over a wide range of topics including Abnormal Psychology, Experimental Psychology, Social Psychology, and Human Sexuality. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Bay Area Skeptics, is a regular contributor to the James Randi Educational Foundation's SWIFT blog, and is the founder of the Ohlone Psychology Club Speaker Series through which he regularly hosts top name speakers in science and skepticism.

Afterwards we will go to dinner at a nearby reasonable Chinese restaurant.

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When: Saturday, September 7th at 3:00 PM. (Meeting will start promptly at 3:00.)

Location: Audre Lorde Room (Upstairs), Women's Building,[masked]th (at Valencia), San Francisco

Cost: $6 Renting a meeting room means we must charge admittance. We would appreciate exact change if convenient. Most of all we want you to join us for this talk.

Note: The Women's Building is three blocks from the Mission 16th St. BART. If you don't know the neighborhood we suggest that as you reach the top of the stairs from BART, turn right and walk a few yards to 16th. Then turn left on 16th Street and walk to Valencia, then turn left on Valencia to 18th St.

Parking: Garage at[masked]st Street (at Lexington)

(Our next meeting will be on Sunday, October 6th)