One of Gaylesta’s members, Guy Albert, recently sent this letter to Lieutenant General Michelle D. Johnson at the United States Air Force Academy, protesting their staff choice of Dr. Rosebush, who has a history of practicing reparative therapy. Read the letter below.
Lieutenant General Michelle D. Johnson
United States Air Force Academy
2304 Cadet Drive Suite 3100
USAF Academy, CO 80840-3100
Dear Ms. Johnson,
It has come to our attention that the United States Air Force Academy has within its ranks a leader who has spent many years promoting the treatment of homosexuality. Dr. Mike Rosebush, who is currently director of counseling at the USAFA, has an extended history of attempting to “cure” gay people of their homosexual desires. These practices, known as Sexual Orientation Change Efforts (SOCE), have been denounced by nearly all the leading mental health associations in the US, including the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Counseling Association, the National Association of Social Workers, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.
As members of the largest LGBTQ therapist’s association in the country, we are increasingly aware of the damages that SOCE have caused countless people, including young adults and minors. The harms of these practices have been so extreme that they have sometimes caused depression, substance abuse, and suicide, and SOCE are being outlawed in several states. We cannot hold silent knowing that a person who has promoted such practices is now in charge of the development of character and leadership of young adults.
Dr. Rosebush’s 20-year history with anti-LGBTQ therapy cannot be dismissed with well-intentioned assurances. His employment with USAFA is an implicit endorsement of his past practices and beliefs. He has published instructions to change sexual orientation, he has years of membership and directorship in organizations focused on anti-LGBTQ propaganda, and his words of hatred for LGBTQ people sends a negative message to all cadets. Though we understand that Dr. Rosebush’s functions do not necessarily include therapy with cadets, his work is related enough to counseling or coaching that his influence on training and morale will most certainly affect cadet populations. Dr. Rosebush’s career has focused on advocating homophobic, unscientific practices which have caused harm to many LGBTQ people, including Air Force Academy cadets.
We trust that you understand how sexual orientation and gender identity continue to be issues of great concern in our society, and we believe that you have every intention to create a culture of acceptance in the Air Force Academy. In that respect, being mindful of a leader’s sphere of influence goes a long way in creating an environment that is sensitive to social and cultural diversity. We ask that you replace Dr. Rosebush with a leader who holds respect for diverse populations, including people of different sexual orientations. We would love to know that you stand behind your statement that USAFA is welcoming and supportive of diversity. We will appreciate your response to this letter.
Guy Albert, Ph.D.
On behalf of Gaylesta, the LGBTQ therapists association.
cc: Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, Secretary of the Air Force Eric Fanning, President Barack Obama