Everything You Need To Know About Conversion Therapy And It's Connection To OU

Everything You Need To Know About Conversion Therapy And It's Connection To OU

16 States have banned Conversion Therapy. Now it's Oklahoma's turn.

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House Bill 2456. Partially ban Conversion Therapy in Oklahoma.

"The practice of trying to change a child's sexual orientation has a history of negative consequences. Including but not limited to depression, suicide, feeling dehumanized, self-loathing, self-harm, loss of friends, guilt, and hopelessness," Representative Jason Dunnington, D-Oklahoma says.

What is Conversion Therapy?

Conversion therapy, sometimes referred to as "reparative therapy," uses several dangerous and discredited practices aimed at changing an individual's sexual orientation or gender identity. Conversion therapists use a variety of shaming, emotionally traumatic or physically painful stimuli to make their victims associate those stimuli with their LGBTQ identities.

Depictions of Conversion Therapy in Media

Boy Erased. A movie depicting the life of a young college student struggling with his sexual orientation. It follows Jared, the son of Baptist parents who are forced to take part in a gay conversion therapy program. Weeks into his therapy, Jared gets to know the other attendees also seeking to become straight.

United States Numbers on Conversion Therapy

The states of New Jersey (2013), California (2013), Oregon (2015), Illinois (2016), Vermont (2016), New Mexico (2017), Connecticut (2017), Rhode Island (2017), Nevada (2018), Washington (2018), Hawaii (2018), Delaware (2018), Maryland (2018), New Hampshire (2019), New York (2019), and Massachusetts (2019), as well as the District of Columbia (2015) and Puerto Rico (2019) ban the use of conversion therapy on minors. Now it's Oklahoma's turn. Dunnington said he thinks the main reason many states have not banned conversion therapy is due to lack of education. "It's one of those things that if you never heard about it, or didn't know anything about it, then it would never be on your radar," Dunnington said.

Oklahoma's Stance on Conversion Therapy

In the Sooner State, Conversion Therapy of minors is LEGAL. Same-sex sexual activity is legal in Oklahoma and both same-sex marriage and adoption by same-sex couples have been legal since October 2014. The state does not prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, leaving an estimated 62,000 LGBT workers in Oklahoma vulnerable to employment discrimination.

University of Oklahoma Connection

A University of Oklahoma professor has drafted a bill to ban therapists from subjecting LGBTQ youth to conversion therapy. Human relations professor Sage Mauldin started the process to get conversion therapy banned about two years ago, and the final language for the legislation was filed January 17th. Mauldin says the bill is the result of years of research and consultation with survivors of conversion therapy. The bill is going to be sponsored by Democratic Representative Jason Dunnington.

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Why An Athlete Is Not Defined By Their Level

Pressure can drive athletes crazy.
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With tryout season among us, it is so important that this be addressed before the teams for this upcoming year are formed.

So many athletes that tryout, don't make the team they want and either quit to "take a year off" or jump ship to a gym that promises them to place the athlete on a higher level. I know that every athlete wants to be on level 5 team, the division is the most prestigious of all of them, especially because going to worlds is the end game for most athletes.

The problem these days in the cheerleading world is that our athletes are trying to level up at a rate that is just not quite realistic. If an athlete is on a level 1 team, the chances of her being on level 4 next year are slim. It is necessary for athletes to experience each level for at least a year to learn all of the fundamentals of the level and build on them for their foundation as an athlete to be more concrete. This produces the best athlete possible.

A lot of athletes think that all that they need to jump levels is tumbling and that is just not the case. When teams are formed, coaches take a look at many different things, these qualities include but are not limited to: mental toughness, dedication, tumbling, stunting abilities, pace of learning, dance and attitude.

Contrary to popular belief, there are so many factors that go into forming a team. This team not only has to be suitable for individual athletes but putting a team together is like a puzzle and as coaches we have to put a team together that will work well and have all the necessary percentages of skills to be competitive in their division.

We are concerned about building well-rounded athletes, not an athlete that is only capable in one facet of cheerleading. Some athletes are great level-4 tumblers but have level-2 stunt ability and those two will not equal a level 4 athlete until we boost the stunting ability of said athlete.

Putting an athlete on a team to just tumble is doing a disservice to not just the team, but also the athletes themselves. If this athlete joins a level 4 team to just tumble all year, when their tumbling progresses to that of a level 5 athlete, they will still have level 2 stunting skills and won't be put to good use when they are level 5 eligible. A well-rounded athlete is the kind of athlete that wins Worlds.

SEE ALSO: To The Coach That Took My Confidence Away

When athletes take their time and learn their level, they are not just learning completely new skills each year, but building on them. If done correctly, each year an athlete should improve on all points of cheerleading and not just one. The rules in each level lead to progressions for the level that it directly follows, so that athletes can safely learn skills by going up the ladder one step at a time.

What most don't realize is that skipping steps is such an unnecessary practice. If Susie stays on level 2 for an extra year, she is not "learning nothing", she is improving on the skills that she didn't quite execute completely the year before, this will perfect her performance in this level and give a more solid foundation for her to build on when she is on a level 3 team.

Pressure can drive athletes crazy. Parents, your athletes have so many years ahead of them to be on a level 5 team and go to worlds, so pushing for a 10-year-old, that is just not ready, to be on a level 4 team is unreasonable. Let your 10-year-old learn maturity and mental toughness at a level that is more appropriate, when your athlete is pushing herself too hard it takes the fun out of the tryout process and creates unnecessary stress on the athletes.

Lastly, please be sure to support whatever decision your coaches make for your athlete's placement, they know your child and they are not trying to hurt their pride, but build them up so they can accomplish all of their goals as an athlete. Know that the level your kid makes this year doesn't define him or her as an athlete, but helps them grow into the cheerleader they have the ability to become!

Cover Image Credit: National Cheerleaders Association

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We Are All Witnesses To The Future Of Basketball

Its close to the end of march madness and close to the start of the draft

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Every couple years or so, there will be a talent like no other in the draft. This person will be tagged as the next great leader of a powerful dynasty or the leader of the NBA for a decade or so. Players such as Kevin Durant or Lonzo Ball. We are in the middle of witnessing something double that hype. The person I'm going to talk about has made the NCAA his playtoy and has torn up amateur defense after defense, leaving nothing in his wake of destruction. He has made himself into a nightmare with his supreme athleticism or his large body, creating mismatches everywhere around the hoop and all around the court.

Yes I am talking about Zion Williamson.

Zion Williamson is good. How good is he you may ask? He is so good that before even stepping onto a COLLEGE FLOOR, major celebrities such as Drake or Jay Z were at his high school games to get a look at the phenom that would come to dominate basketball for the next decade. Williamson is so good that he literally makes other college programs scout even harder to find a diamond in a rough which they can develop into half the player he is. That is how he knows he's made his impact on the basketball world.

In the 2018-2019 NCAA mens division 1 season, Williamson and another potential top 5 pick in R.J. Barrett have carried duke with the likes of Cam Reddish and other role players this season. They've formulated a game plan to bully their way to the basket and force defenders at the other end to play up to their strengths. This has allowed for them to pick up easy games against smaller teams but if the time comes, they can adapt to the 3 point shot too. Just look at the results of the round of 32 game against UCF, Duke was forced to switch to another game plan because they knew that their idea of getting easy baskets around the rim wouldn't work.

However, even more than a basketball player, Zion Williamson has been controversial figure for his surprising injury. The man who was compared too as being hit by a car suddenly seemed so human when his shoe broke and he was lying there on the floor. This first of all brought up the controversy of shoes put more importantly, should college athletes get paid? This was a serious question to ask as staying a amateur was always considered a bad idea. Why would you limit yourself to getting less money when you can go pro and get paid? And due to the NBA CBA in 2005, you risk not going to the NBA at all if you have an off-season in college. This can hurt your chances to get paid and affects how many players will continue going to the NBA if foreign leagues have spots open with actual paying jobs. As the summer moves closer, Zion Williamson will get his shot to show if he's that once in a generation talent he is expected to be.

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