You can’t shock away the Gay
Cameron was one of 14 young men that year that volunteered for the therapy. Designed to “cure” them of their homosexual tendencies, the therapy consisted of hooking the men to electrodes and showing them pictures of other men. When the men were shown the images, they were administered electric shocks.
The theory was that giving electric shocks to the men when they viewed the images would create a negative response to the images.
Twenty-five years later, Cameron was interviewed about the events. That interview sparked something in the theater professor at the University of Iowa, and he decided to put what he went through into dramatic form.
His play, “14,” named for the 14 men who volunteered for the controversial form of therapy, will be performed in CU’s Loft Theatre Wednesday through Oct. 23.
In an email interview with the Camera, Cameron stressed the play isn’t an attack on his alma mater or on the Church of Latter Day Saints.
“I’m not interested in … blaming them for the personal struggles I faced after the therapy ended,” Cameron said. “Some may say that the Church’s oppressive attitudes against homosexuality drove me to my decision and so ‘forced’ me to do the therapy. I don’t believe this to be true. You have to remember that in 1974, the whole world was pretty much anti-gay. You could lose your job, your home, even your life (for being part) of a sub-group that was considered prurient and deviant.”