Alex Cooper, 21, had to stand facing a wall for hours wearing a backpack full of rocks. That was the “therapy” she was given by a Utah Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) couple to help cure her being gay, reports Salt Lake City‘s KUTV TV.
According to a new book she has written on the awful experience, “Saving Alex,” her LDS parents sent her away to live with the unlicensed “cure” therapists after she came out to them in 2010. Once with the “cure” couple, she says she was told by them, “Your family doesn’t want you. God has no place for people like you in His plan.”
Cooper says that, while living with her “exhausting and humiliating” ordeal with the couple, she tried to commit suicide.
She also tried to escape, but the man caught her and gut-punched her.
Eventually, she was allowed to go to the local high school, through which she contacted a lawyer that helped her secure the right to live independently as an openly gay teen.
Cooper says her mother has since apologized. She and her lawyer are now working to ban gay conversion, or “cure,” therapy in Utah. It is already banned in several states.
KUTV asked LDS their stance on homosexuality and gay conversion therapy. “The Church denounces any therapy that subjects an individual to abusive practices,” said a rep for the church. “We hope those who experience the complex realities of same-sex attraction find compassion and understanding from family members, professional counselors and church members.”