Life in the Margins

Heather Tillewein Headshot

By Dr. Heather Tillewein

Interview with Conversion Therapy Survivor, Clare Killman

Clare Killman, former Midwest Regional Director of the Conversion Therapy Dropout Network, revisits her struggles with transitioning in a religious household and describes the horrific methods that were used on her during conversion therapy. Clare further discusses the impact that conversion therapy has had on her life and how she has continued to work to fix the trauma she endured by conversion therapists. The interview concludes with Clare giving her take on how public health professionals and other professionals can stop the use of conversion therapy. 

Take Away Points

  • Homonegativity in  religious institutions can influence family members to put their child in conversion therapy.
  • Individuals are often forced into conversion therapy.
  • Those going through conversion therapy describe the process as torturous and this form of therapy has lasting negative impacts on the survivor’s life. 
  • Often conversion therapy is done in a remote, secluded area and is maybe impossible for survivors to remember where the conversion therapy was done at. 
  • Conversion therapists use different methods during these conversion sessions. 
  • Conversion Therapy is ineffective in changing one’s gender identity or sexual orientation
  • Stricter laws on conversion therapy can help stop this form of abuse.