Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Health Professions
Board of Counseling
Regulations Governing the Practice of Professional Counseling [18 VAC 115 ‑ 20]
Action Unprofessional conduct - conversion therapy
Comment Period Ended on 8/7/2019
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8/6/19  4:24 pm
Commenter: Willow G Woycke

Conversion Therapy Ban

To Whom It May Concern:

I am a transgender woman and a lesbian. When I was around nine I told my mother that I thought my life would be better if I was a girl. My mom told me people like that aren't happy. I don't know what she meant, but I knew I should not try to be a girl. I wanted to be happy, but I was only really happy for myself when I was wearing girls clothes. I didn't know why. As I grew up I had times when I didn't dress as a woman, but I would keep coming back to it, and, always, in the back of my mind, my true gender was screaming at me, "you're a woman". It almost destroyed my marriage. It caused us to separate for six years. I was trying so hard to not be transgender. I tried therapy, years of therapy. I tried 12 step programs. I worked all of the steps in two programs. Still, my gender would be calling to me in the middle of the night telling me I was a woman. When I was 53, my wife and I discussed it, maybe I should try to live my truth. I started my transition. My depression lifted, my type 2 diabetes went into remission, and my high blood pressure went away. There were physical health benefits from living my truth. 

Conversion therapy tries to rip a persons gender identity or sexual orientation away from them. It not something that can be removed or changed.  It is abusive therapy and will leave deep, lasting emotional scars.

I would prefer someone get the health and mental health benefits of being who they are and loving who they love to the emotional scars that conversion therapy leaves behind.



Willow Woycke

Herndon, VA

CommentID: 75119