Cloverdale-Langley City MP Tamara Jansen, seen here during question period Dec. 9, 2019, said she personally opposes conversion therapy, but a proposed law to make a criminal offence in Canada need to be clarified (Christian Diotte, House of Commons Photo Services)

Cloverdale-Langley City MP Tamara Jansen, seen here during question period Dec. 9, 2019, said she personally opposes conversion therapy, but a proposed law to make a criminal offence in Canada need to be clarified (Christian Diotte, House of Commons Photo Services)

LETTER: Constituent disappointed in Cloverdale-Langley City MP’s comments on homosexuality

Letter writer said MP’s words can have an effect on people’s self-worth and identity

Dear Editor,

[Re: Cloverdale-Langley City MP draws criticism over conversion therapy debate comments, langleyadvancetimes.com, April 25]

Cloverdale-Langley City MP Tamara Jansen

As a constituent of your riding, I want to write to you to express my disappointment and utter disgust at your recent House of Common comments about “lesbian activity” and conversion therapy.

I work in mental health and substance use, and I have had the honour to provide support to many young men and women who have been told by their parents and church community that there is something inherently wrong with them because of their sexuality.

You may not understand what effects this has on a young person’s self-worth and identity,but I will tell you. These young people learn early that something is wrong with them and understand from this young age that they must not be who they are. They instead try to be something that their parents and church want them to emulate. This causes the young person to become confused, and they invariably determine that they are broken in some way. With this brokenness comes shame, and shame is the killer.

When young people feel shame, they lose a part of their worthiness, and they begin to find ways that give themself temporary relief.

So I can tell you from sitting across from these now young adults, that they cut themselves, they kill themselves, they allow others to hurt them, they become addicted, and they overdose.

The young people are forever grieving as they have lost so much.

Ms. Jansen, your words are meaningful and impactful, and your words have now encouraged the continued shaming and abuse of our young men and women.

I makes me incredibly sad to have to write this in 2021.

Melissa Thorson, Clayton

.

• READ MORE: In pushing to amend convesion therapy bill, Tories seek to bridge caucus divide

• READ MORE: Bill to ban conversion therapy being turned into political fundraising tool


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