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NCLR – Much More than a Lesbian Prom

20 May Posted by in Robin Lowey | Comments Off on NCLR – Much More than a Lesbian Prom
NCLR – Much More than a Lesbian Prom

The National Center For Lesbian Rights in the post Kate Kendell era. I’m guessing we were all a bit apprehensive and yet, after last weekend’s Gala, I think there was a collective sigh of relief.

As Kate moves on to her next chapter, she is still cheering NCLR on. What really matters is the work they do, and I’m so impressed with everything they stand for!

With the organization now in the hands of interim ED Cindy Myers, legal director Shannon Minter, board of directors and capable staff, the Gala came off without a hitch, and the after party was fantastic.

A sea of thousands of attractive, well-dressed lesbians, plus more than a few cute boys and straight couples danced the night away with an open bar, food and games.

It was all about supporting and celebrating our community, mugging for photos, seeing ex-lovers, meeting new ones, giving hugs to old and new friends and spreading the love.

The stories of the honorees presented at the awards ceremony were inspiring.  One such story that particularly impressed me:

Kate McCobb, survivor of 8 years of conversion therapy in her own words:
“In 2006, when I was 25, I began seeing a therapist who fixated on the fact I was a lesbian – even though I didn’t seek counseling about that. He insisted that my attraction to women was pathological, a result of childhood sexual abuse even though I had no memories of that at all.

He claimed that with his help, my brain could be “rewired” to reveal my “true self” – a heterosexual woman. Through individual and group sessions, he encouraged me to become “more feminine” – to lose weight, grow out my hair, change my wardrobe … and date men. He convinced me that I was sick and that I could change.

For eight years, I tried. But I moved to another state in 2014 and began seeing a new therapist the following spring. It was from my new therapist that I discovered that “conversion therapy” was considered unethical and harmful by all the major medical and mental health associations. And it began to dawn on me that my old therapist’s attempts to change my sexual orientation were not just useless but dangerous.

That’s when I found NCLR. Initially, I was filled with shame as I told my story – I still largely blamed myself. But from my first interaction with the NCLR attorneys, I was treated with tenderness and respect. Most importantly, I was validated as a queer person in a way I had not experienced ever in my life, least of all from strangers.

These brilliant lawyers suggested a new approach with my case, arguing that the more than $70,000 I’d paid for therapy constituted consumer fraud. When they drafted my complaint, I cried when I read it. I was so struck by how NCLR’s legal team, representing me free of charge, invested so much time and effort truly understanding my story and building a strong case against my former therapist.”

NCLR’s work could not be possible without the donations and investments in equality from valued friends like you.

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