In an interview with New York, Saturday Night Live Star (S.N.L star) opens up about his time in conversion therapy. He also had a conflict with his parents over his sexuality. As his parents were not okay acceping him, they forced him into seeing a conversion therapist. Yang did not want to hurt his parents and went ahead with the treatment.
S.N.L Star Bowen Yang.
Bowen Yang went crazy when he first found out that he is being cast as a member of The Saturday Night Live show. He japed about how he ordered gray coasters from Amazon. “I never thought I would be a coasters person,” he says, marveling. “And here I am.”
S.N.L Star Bowen Yang is the first openly gay comedian to star on the show. He co-hosted the show with Kate McKinnon. Out magazine proclaimed that Bowen Yang was bringing the queer agenda to television. Bowen Yang first made his mark playing Kim Jong-un, Andrew Yang. He had his own creation on “Weekend Update”: “Trade Daddy”: the catty Chinese trade representative negotiating with the Trump administration.
He auditioned for S.N.L. And he felt he had run out of Asian-American public figures. He had done an impression of The New York Times’s iconic former chief book critic, Michiko Kakutani. Most people do not know what Michiko looks like or how she talks. With nothing else on his plate, Bowen invented a character that is far from the shy, stylish writer. “I made her this very gruff, aggressive woman,” he says. “And of course that’s not what she sounds like, that was the fun of it.”
Experience with conversion therapy.
Yang was forced to come out to his parents at the age of seventeen. His parents intercepted an instant message chat of his. Hence, it outed him in the process. After knowing the truth, Yang’s father sent him to a conversion counselor. He had to go through eight-sessions with the counselor.
When his parents found out they had refused to accept Yang’s sexuality. Yang said that they sat him down and yelled at him. Thye did not understand this. “We don’t understand this, where we come from, this doesn’t happen”, they said.
The only time Yang had seen his father cry was at his grandfather died. And now he was sobbing in front of Yang every day at dinner. Yang said, “And I’m thinking: ‘How do I make this right?’ As an immigrant’s son, this was the worst thing he thought he could do.
He did not want his parents to suffer this much over him. Yang felt guilty and finally caved at seeing the specialist. He went ahead with it keeping in mind his parents.
Yang said, “I allowed myself the thought experiment of: ‘What if this could work?'” But then he felt it was completely crackers “Even though as I read up on it, I was just like, ‘Oh, wait, this is all completely crackers’.
S.N.L Stars’ first therapy session.
The therapist asked Yang a bizarre question at his first session. ‘Would you like this to be Christ-centered or a secular sort of experience?’ Yang replied saying that he was nonreligious. Even for him to ask such a question means that there was some kind of religious agenda behind it anyway.
The S.N.L star continues the sessions. He explains how his first few sessions were all talk therapy. After which it started to veer off into a place of: ‘Let’s go through a sensory description of how you were feeling when you’ve been attracted to men’
Yang said, “And then the counselor would go through the circular reasoning thing of: ‘Well, weren’t you feeling uncomfortable a little bit when saw that boy you liked?’
“And I was like: ‘Not really’.
He goes:’‘ How did your chest feel?’
“And I was like, ‘Maybe I was slouching a little bit’.
“And he goes:‘See? That all stems from shame’.
“It was just crazy. Explain the gay away with pseudoscience.”
Yang wondered why his parents or both scientists could not see how absurd it is.
Conversion therapy is common in the US.
Medical organizations across the world have widely rejected conversion therapy. They say it is traumatizing and psychologically scarring. Especially for minors.
The American Academy of Paediatrics warned against conversion therapy in 1993. They mentioned that it reinforced anxiety and shame. The practices have been around for centuries. It has many techniques. But the most common is talk therapy.
Some other treatments include shock treatments that usually induce nausea in patients. Despite all this, conversion therapy still reamains most common in the United States of America.
Bowen Yang is probably one of many that have been foreced to take up conversion therapy. There are over 698,000 LGBTI+ adults in the United States have recieved conversion therapy, accoring to research.