Lesbian who harmed herself after undergoing ‘gay cure therapy’ was found dead

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Alana Chen, 24, was reported missing by her family this week when she didn’t return from a hiking trip. Her car was found next to a reservoir in Chautauqua Park in Colorado, and search parties identified her body several hours later. The police are sure it was not a homicide, but they still doubt whether it was an accident or she took her own life. Chen was raised Catholic and came out to a priest at her church in 2009. In August she told the Denver Post how the priest continued giving her informal counseling throughout high school, forcing her into ‘conversion therapy’ and urging not to tell her family about it. She was made to feel guilty and afraid of going to hell for being a lesbian. Chen eventually distanced herself from the church in 2016 after her family found scars on her arms from self-harming and admitted her to a psychiatric hospital. She directly blamed the priest’s counsel for her hospitalization, because she started to harm herself to comfort. Chen opted to speak out about her experience as she wanted to educate people about the harms of conversion therapy so others who went through the same wouldn’t feel alone.

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