During pride month, we had plenty of time to discuss the incredible influencers and representatives of the LGBTQ+ community and the efforts that they are putting forward to break the negative stigma that surrounds their community. We think it is equally important to understand some of the corrupt activities that are taking place in the world that are putting the lives of LGBTQ+ individuals at risk. A big activity is the rise of conversion therapy.
It is Unethical
Conversion therapy is sometimes also referred to as reparative therapy or even gay cure therapy. This is when someone tries to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity. In practice, it means to stop or suppress someone from being gay, or from living as a different gender to their sex recorded at birth.
It can include extreme forms of therapy that can include exorcisms, physical violence, and food deprivation. However, some forms like “corrective” rape, are already illegal. Many people have spoken up about undergoing conversion therapy and they have said that it has left them emotionally traumatized. In a lot of developed countries the process of conversion therapy has been warned as unethical, and potentially harmful.
It is hard to say how common conversion therapy is today because a lot of individuals are reluctant to open up and speak up about the topic. Around 5 per cent of the 108,000 people who responded to a 2018 LGBTQ government survey said that they had been offered some form of conversion therapy.
While 2 per cent had undergone it. Around 10 per cent of Christians respondents and 20 per cent of Muslim respondents said they had undergone or been offered conversion therapy compared to the 6% with no religion.
This figure is very high amongst transgender individuals. Almost one in 10 trans men said that they had been offered conversion therapy, and one in 25 said they had undergone it.
Negative Effects on Mental Health
The American Psychological Association Task Force has found that conversion therapy in addition to being ineffective and can have a wide range of harmful side effects to participants.
Some of these side effects include: shame, guilt, hopelessness, loss of faith, decreased self-esteem, increased self-hatred, social withdrawal, feeling dehumanized, depression, increased substance abuse, and, in many cases suicidal thoughts.
Conversion therapy has always done more harm in the long run, than good.
Does Conversion Therapy Work?
The answer is no, it simply does not.
Conversion therapy is based on the outdated and false notion that being part of the LGBTQ community is a mental illness and can be cured through various obscure tactics.
No credible scientific study has ever supported the claims of conversion therapists to actually change a person’s sexual orientation. In a 2009 report by the American Psychological Association Task Force stated that there is no result or valid research that indicates a way for individuals to reduce same-sex attraction.
To prove this, in recent years, many former ex-gay leaders have come out to declare that conversion therapy is not effective and never was. There has even been a Netflix documentary about this topic that features these ex-leaders called Pray Away.
Conversion therapy is a serious issue that is putting the lives of the innocent LGBTQ+ community at risk. To partake and break the negative stigma and information that is being spread in various right-wing communities about the LGBTQ+ community.
To join hands with certain minority groups that are suffering and shed a positive light on their issue. Together we can make the world a better place for everyone to live in, and feel loved, appreciated, and wanted.
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by Mariam Asif – YLT Staff