Wyandotte, Mich (WJBK) - The people holding their very first meeting today in response to the church being accused of holding conversion therapy.
A first of its kind down river, say this as an alternative to what they saw as conversion therapy happening at Metro City Church.
The people who left the previous church think this could be the start of serious support after all the controversy playing out publicly.
“It’s okay for them to be who they are.”
Protests like this continued on for weeks against a practice people demonstrating outside Metro City Church considered categorically wrong.
“It definitely was conversion therapy, I know conversion therapy I’ve been there, and it’s still wrong and I’m still going to try to get the bill pass that it’s illegal, transgender teen Seth Tooley said.”
The Riverview Church was accused of offering a conversion therapy class to young people. The controversial practice uses prayer and counseling in an attempt to change someone’s sexual orientation or gender identify.
“Conversion therapy does not work, it’s extremely damaging and scientifically proven ineffective,” gender therapist Dale Rogalski said.
After everything, Seth, a transgender teen who said the Metro City Church tried to use these therapies on him, is at the head of an effort to provide support to trans young people in a space that is safe and loving.
“We’re not trying to change anyone we want everyone to come as they are; everyone is safe here. We want youth to come with their parents or without as well as parents if they need support,” Seth’s mom Kimberly Tooley said.
It’s for transgender youth between 15-22 and their parents at St Stephens Episcopal Church in Wyandotte.
Seth and his mom hope this can help so many people.
“I think the community is learning that people are people no matter who they are no matter if their transgender or where they are on the rainbow if you will, I think the community is saying accept people and that’s what we want,” Tooley said.
The Sessions are free and its Spearheaded by Stand with Trans every 1st and 3rd Sunday. It’s from 4pm to 5:30 at the Episcopal church in Wyandotte.
Also bill 5550 is being worked on that would make conversion therapy illegal in Michigan.