Jeff Goldblum has spoken about how his late brother was subjected to conversion therapy by his father “in order to fix” his homosexuality.
In an interview with The Times Magazine, the Jurassic Park star says that his father had a “traditional masculine sense of himself” and was often cruel to Goldblum’s gay brother Lee who passed away in 2000. The father went so far as to keep his son’s sexuality a secret from the rest of the family according to Goldblum.
“He didn’t tell the rest of us,” Goldblum said. “Sent him to a therapist in order to ‘fix him’. It was all secret. That’s not so nourishing.”
“My dad was, without knowing why, conspicuously cruel to [Lee] at times.”
According to the actor Lee faced “troubles of one kind or another” including “physical ailments, [being] overweight, pharmaceuticals abuse and self-medication issues.”
Goldblum says that Lee struggled with employment, having studied at medical school and joined the army before becoming a taxi driver. Then, “for the last couple of decades of his life,” Lee moved back in with their parents.
Conversion therapy is a widely debunked practice wherein practitioners attempt to alter the sexuality or gender of subjects, using techniques like prayer, shock therapy, and more. The American Psychiatric Association, as well as others, has come out in opposition of the pseudoscience, calling the practice “unethical”. A 2018 study by The Williams Institute estimated that 700,000 LGBTQ+ Americans have undergone conversion therapy. Approximately 20,000 LGBTQ+ adolescents will be subjected to the practice by a licensed health care professional by the age of 18.
The practice is banned on minors in eighteen states in addition to Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia.