Get Inspired, Be Empowered Forums LGBTQ Issues & Rights The Cruel Practice of Conversion Therapy

11 replies, 9 voices Last updated by Manpreet Singh 2 years, 10 months ago
  • Woospire
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    Anika
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    Conversion therapy is the practice of trying to change an individual’s sexual orientation from homosexual or bisexual to heterosexual using psychological, physical, or spiritual intervention.
    Conversion therapy is still practiced in India. Although homosexuality is now legal in India, people still think that it’s immoral and that it should and can be ‘cured’ if treatment is given.
    It is very cruel that people police someone’s life because of their sexuality. This is because they have a heteronormative mindset and think that anyone other than cisgendered straight people are abnormal.
    If anyone thinks that there are only a few people are gay and the rest are straight, they’re wrong, very wrong. We do not know how the situation is. There are many still finding themselves and there are some who are not out yet, so we can’t make these kinds of assumptions.
    It is infuriating that people use religion as a scapegoat for their bigoted beliefs. It is not said in any religious texts that you should be this vile and hateful so why are you doing this?
    When parents find out their child is gay, they disown their child. They try everything to make their child ‘normal’. They send their children to conversion therapy. Whether it actually works or not, 98% of them suffered psychological damage after conversion therapy.
    It is strange to think that conversion therapy would work. Sexuality is not a choice. If it was, don’t you think that people would want to be straight? But it isn’t that easy. I think that if it actually worked on people like society says it does, they would have been questioning their sexuality. Also, multi gender attraction aka bisexuality exists. They are still queer even if they’re not just attracted to the same sex but also the opposite sex.
    We need to understand that we can’t choose who we are attracted to. Conversion therapy is not helpful at all. Why should someone change themselves because society doesn’t accept them? Conversion therapy only has negative results; the concept of this means that homosexuality is something which shouldn’t exist and should be treated. This leads to depression, anxiety and even suicide in queer kids.
    Learn to accept that not everyone is straight, and that’s okay.

    Manpreet Singh
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    Homosexuality in India can be linked to historical times. Homosexuality has been a continuing phenomenon from ancient times to modern times. Our religious and Hindu texts are filled with it. They have a lot of information regarding homosexual characters and themes based on it. Rigveda recognizes the homosexual side of human life. The ancient Kamasutra dedicates a complete chapter on homosexual behavior in males. Historical evidence is present in plenty, which indicates that homosexuality has been a part of our culture in Indian society. Homosexuals were not considered inferior till about the 18th century of British colonial rule. A 5-judge constitutional bench of the Supreme Court of India has now decriminalized a part of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, hence making homosexuality legal in India. The colonial-era law that made gay sex punishable by up to 10 years in prison, has paved the way for a better future. But why do our Indian culture still is not ready to accept homosexuality in our society?
    Homophobia is so much prevalent in India that public discussion of homosexuality in India has been inhibited. Generally, sexuality in any form is rarely discussed openly in our society. It has mostly to do with the importance we give to our cultural standards and moral code of conduct. Although much progress has been made, we still are not ready to accept it because we have not made our people sensitive about it. We need an education setup where we teach about these sensitive topics as early as possible. We can stop the cruel practice of gender therapy only when we will make our society more sensitive about it. However, the attitudes towards homosexuality have gained a slight shift. There have been more portraying and discussions of homosexuality in the Indian media.
    What we need right now is to spread as much information about this issue as possible, in order to make our society more gender-sensitive.

    Mayuravarshini Mohana
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    Conversion therapy is pseudo-scientific process that attempts to convert homosexuals and transgenders to heterosexual cisgenders. The alleged ‘therapy’ includes talks, prayers and even adopts exorcism, physical violence and food deprivation. It inflicts severe harm to the mental health of victims, such as depression, engaging in high risk sexual activity, social withdrawal, hopelessness and increased substance abuse, while also increasing suicidal tendency.

    The most horrendous and inhuman among such practices is ‘corrective rape’. It is a hate crime perpetrated against homosexuals and transgenders in a bid to correct them. In India, many homosexuals are forced to endure this cold-hearted treatment which is often perpetrated by family members themselves. Vyjayanti Mogli, a member of crisis intervention team of the LGBT Collective in Telangana, in conversation with TOI, says that families take it up as a disciplining project to ‘correct’ and ‘cure’ homosexuals. The victims are so traumatised that they try to delete it from their memory. This is why such crimes often go unreported. Hyderabad based filmmaker Deepthi Tadanki’s ‘Satyavati’ is a film that portrays the grim details of such practices in India. It is a much needed initiative as there is little to no societal awareness of this barbaric practice.

    The term ‘conversion’ is proof enough of our society’s blinkered understanding of sexuality and gender expression. Even worse is the term ‘reparative therapy’ which connotes that anything other than heterosexual cisgender expression is an abnormality. The idea that homosexuality and varied gender expressions are ‘unnatural’ or ‘abnormal’ is collectively held with such conviction that it has become a corner stone of our culture. People often justify their homophobic stance by claiming that homosexuality is a western phenomenon alien to our culture. The Indian style of upbringing often doesn’t allow individuals to explore and understand their sexuality. In a heteronormative society, such an upbringing would only make heterosexuality seem a majority.

    Through family, schools and media we internalise the idea that heterosexuality is our default nature. It is disconcerting that homosexuals are often prodded with the question, ‘When did you realise it?’ Why is this never asked of heterosexuals? This tendency stems from our heteronormative conditioning that otherises any other expression of sexuality and gender. It sees homosexuality as a deviance, a ‘preference’ as if one’s expression of sexuality was a matter of choice. Moreover, homosexual relationships are often perceived as purely sexual in nature. Love and companionship are not acknowledged. These attitudes are the seeds of discriminative and oppressive practices such as conversion therapy.

    Justice Anand Venkatesh of The Madras High Court, who recently banned conversion therapy, stated that his upbringing treated homosexuality, gay and lesbians as ‘anathema’. This holds true to the majority of the population. To bring about this landmark judgement, he even underwent psycho-educative sessions with professionals to discard his pre-conceived notions. The judge set a precedent by making efforts to understand the LGBT+ community instead of treating its members as an anomaly.

    The problem lies nowhere else but with the society. It is a mark of uncivilised behaviour to persecute any one for being their true selves within the limits of personal liberty. It is high time we discard jaundiced stigmas and move towards an inclusive society. That, is true progress.

    anshika agarwal
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    Homosexuality, transgender identity and other non-heterosexual orientations or gender diversity continue to be seen as illness or sin in many societies. Conversion therapy is a practice that aims to change, cure or repair an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity and it is a global problem that causes severe physical and psychological suffering to its victims. According to a research it is found that conversion is is done in more than 69 countries in all regions and the practice is undertaken within adults and even minors too who may be gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans and gender diverse. Due to the difficulties faced in the therapy it is globally banned now. This practice violates the basic human rights of the individual. This therapy is illegal, cruel and inhuman. We have seen that conversion therapies can lead to avoidance behaviours, hypervigilance, intrusive flashbacks, traumatic nightmares, and other symptoms. Conversion therapy is both provided under state and in private. There is no 100% guarantee that conversion therapy in any form can be effective and that any treatment or practices that can change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity lack any foundation in science and medicine. Conversion therapy is a form of discrimination and repression which harms victims and may further isolate them. Many acts of conversion therapy bear strong similarities to internationally acknowledged acts of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and punishment. Children and minors are particularly vulnerable with a sharp increase of suicidal tendencies in those who have gone through the treatment of conversion therapy. It needs to be stopped. Government should completely declare it illegal and whosoever does this should be punished.

    Semantee Chattopadhyay
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    In December 2016, the tiny island of Malta became the first European nation to outlaw gay conversion therapy. Measures to restrict this controversial practice has been introduced in half of all US states, as evidence increasingly shows that it causes serious medical and psychological harm. Yet, it’s still around the world. So what exactly is gay conversion therapy? Gay conversion therapy is any treatment that aims to turn gay, lesbian and transgender individuals into heterosexuals. The patients are predominantly minors or young adults many of whom are forced for pressure into therapy. Attempts at gay conversion are performed by medical professionals, religious leaders or counsellors and usually involve a variety of behaviour, cognitive psychological training including electroshock therapy. The severity of these treatments depends on where the people are. In South Africa for example, homosexual sexual men and boys and known to be forced into ‘conversion camps’ where they are subjected to hard labour to install masculinity. Similar camps exist in the United States but it’s much less severe, usually involving compressive talk therapy, seminars, weekend retreats or rehabilitation. It does not involve inhumane medical procedures. The basis for modern gay conversion therapy began in the 1920s when homosexuality was widely believed they’re a physical birth defect. Accordingly, the earliest form of conversion therapy was to remove one testicle from a gay man and replace it with a heterosexual donor’s. When this proved both ineffective and harmful, psychiatrists and medical professionals began to classify homosexuality as a mental disorder, treatable with psychotherapy and medication. By the 1950s, behavioural therapies, including treatments like electric shock hypnosis and lobotomy became widely accepted treatments for homosexuality. Many psychologists believe that associated homosexual acts with pain, sickness and embarrassment would eventually make them unappealing. In the early 1970s, these theories slowly lost credibility. Psychiatrist studies show homosexuals had no developmental inferiority when compared to heterosexuals, lessening the belief that homosexuality was the disease. The human right campaign states that conversion therapy on minors can lead to an increased risk of depression, anxiety, drug use, homelessness and even suicide. Despite how inhumane and ineffective the practice is it is still legal in most of the world. It may be a long time when the world bans the practice altogether.

    Yash Tiwari
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    Conversion therapy is an umbrella term for any therapeutic intervention whose goal is to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity. The term covers a broad range of abusive practices, including shock therapy, the use of drugs, and treatment by so-called ‘ex-gay’ therapists. Conversion therapy has been practiced in most regions of the world, but it is especially widespread in Africa and Asia. The practice represents a severe form of discrimination against same-sex attracted and gender-diverse people, as well as their families. Forcing someone to change their sexual orientation or gender identity can cause extensive emotional and mental distress and is tantamount to torture.

    The IRCT is aware of the human right to self-determination and the right to be free from torture. It also understands that the practice of conversion therapy is a form of sexual orientation or gender identity discrimination, a form of torture, and must be stopped at once. Conversion therapy, a harmful and cruel ‘treatment’ aiming to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, is an institutionalized form of violence against LGBTI persons. Conversion therapy targets LGBTI people for a range of often extreme, though sometimes disguised, treatments. In most places where the practice is still allowed, conversion therapists are free to abuse individuals and subject them to torturous treatment such as shock therapy, confinement, or beatings.

    Conversion therapy refers to a range of dangerous and discredited practices that attempt to change an individual’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. Such practices have been rejected by all the major mental health organizations. This is a harmful and discredited pseudoscientific practice aimed at changing an individual’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression – with the stated ultimate goal being a heterosexual orientation. Conversion therapies include a whole spectrum of practices that aim to change a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. These practices appear in different forms and contexts – from ‘talk’ therapy by accredited professionals, to programs run by churches or religiously affiliated organizations.

    There is an alarming trend of government officials, religious leaders, and medical practitioners who promote the practice of conversion therapy or provide futile treatment that prolongs pain and suffering. This is a violation of international law. The research evidence is clear and has been made even clearer in October 2014 with supporting evidence from the United Nations. Conversion or reparative therapy has no place in the modern world. It is unethical, ineffective, and abusive. Even if it were effective (which it isn’t) it would still be unethical for the same reasons. The practice of conversion therapy, which seeks to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity, is deeply embedded in the history of social prejudice and discrimination against gay individuals.

    Shubhangini Shaktawat
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    The Cruel Practice of Conversion Therapy
    In the typically unfair and unjust world that we live in, the society is just another stepping stone making it far difficult for people to survive; terrorism, global warming, casteism, xenophobia, homophobia, society issues and what not? One of the major problems our coming generations will have to face is homophobia. It is prejudice against gay people or hate for them. Our society has judged all gay people and almost everyone belonging to the LGBTQIA+ community. It never accepts such people and that is why they have this thing called ‘conversion therapy.’ It is a cruel practice used to try to change the sexual orientation from homosexual or bisexual to heterosexual through psychological, spiritual or even physical means. A number of psychiatric and medical associations and organizations have opposed the idea of conversion therapy as it proves to be emotionally and psychologically harmful without any guaranteed positive results. Attempts to change one’s sexual orientation are not only unethical and morally incorrect, but also give out the wrong idea into the society. People out there in the society justify this therapy like it were a medical success and absolutely explanatory. Various religious reasons have been given to justify it, although, unsuccessful.
    Earlier, homosexuality was thought of as a mental disorder and it was criminalized in 1861 in India during the colonial era, which changed in 2018 after it was decriminalized and various psychiatric associations and organizations confirmed that it was not a mental disorder. Even after Article 377 was removed and consensual homosexual activities between adults were legalized, India still remains to be as outdated and stereotypical as before. Prejudice and backlash against the LGBTQIA+ community remain to prevail in the society. It is why this pathetic idea of conversion therapy remains to exist in the heads of narrow minded people all over India. It has ruined the emotional health of millions of people across the world and remains to do the same in India as well. It has taken lives of people too by giving birth to a number of suicidal thoughts in the minds of people. After Anjana Hareesh, a 21 year old committed suicide as her family in Kerala forcibly made her undergo conversion therapy and gave her strong medical doses to ‘cure’ her, it caused a large uproar all over India, although, it was not enough for the cruel conversion therapy to be declared illegal and unethical officially. Let us make a difference and bring justice to all those who have lost their lives and self respect by raising a voice against it. It must be banned and criminalized.
    An ally and supporter,
    Shubhangini Shaktawat

    DISHA SAPKALE
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    Conversion therapy means it is practice of changing sexual orientation from bisexual to heterosexual. More than 69 countries practices conversion therapy and mostly practice are taken by adults who may be bisexual, gay, transgender, lesbian. Because of conversion therapy people may suffer from suicide, stress, anxiety and depression. Conversion Therapy do not work according to evidence due to which it may harmful for LGBTQ community. There are many LGBTQ people who attempted to suicide, goes from depression. All over the world different judiciary has passed a law against conversion therapy. The main organization for conversion therapy was NARTH called as national association for search and therapy of homosexuality. Canada, Germany, Malta, Mexico and parts of Australia these countries has banned on conversion therapy. LGBTQ community still not treated properly by health care services due to which they has to suffer alot. 20% of transgender people are forced to have conversion therapy to subdue their gender identity which is wrong. This should be change and people need to raise their voice against wrong. Government need to look after this therapy to take proper care of LGBTQ community and conversion therapy should be banned for their safety. In 2001, U.S. surgeon David Satcher stated that their is no valid evidence says that sexual orientation can be changed.

    Manpreet Singh
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    “Conversion Therapy” is a series of harmful and discredited therapies, also termed “reparative treatment,” which claim that the person changes his sexual orientation, his gender identity, or speech. The “conversion therapy” Every major health and mental health agency has been refused such procedures for decades yet certain practitioners continue to undertake transformation therapy due to continued discrimination and social bigotry against LGBTQ persons. Minors, who may lead to despair, anxiety, medicine, homelessness, and suicide, are particularly vulnerable and convertible.
    An estimated 20,000 LGBTQ adolescents in States without safeguards are exposed to conversion therapy by a licensed health care practitioner in the event that State officials fail to act, according to a recent analysis from Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law. The support of law-making protection from conversion therapy has been expressed in April 2018 by national groups representing millions of licensed medical and mental health professionals, educators, and advocates for children. Some religious right-wing organizations advocate the notion that an individual can alter their sexual orientation or gender identity by means of either priestly or religious endeavors. Research into such initiatives has proven to be effective and has also shown that they are positive. In addition to studies purely focusing on reparative treatment, broader studies show considerable harm to lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender, and queers (LGBTQ), especially young people, due to societal discrimination and familial refusal.
    But breaking them down on the basis of their identification as sexes or gender is not one of them – in fact, it is unacceptable. It is a matter of reality. Our youth deserve acceptability, support, and affection. Today is your day for young people who wonder about their identity, who are bullying or fighting to find out what it means. You have heard your voices.

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