This article was published on April 4th, 2022
Chick-fil-a anyone? No thanks, we prefer our meat to be hate-free. Why is this relevant in a story about conversion therapy being banned in the UK? In the USA, Chick-fil-a donates a good amount of its income to anti-LGBT groups, but not all straight people feel the same as its owners because the government is banning this cruel practice in the UK. In fact, the ban on conversion therapy is just a small step forward as a large group in the LGBT community is still not protected under the ban. Trans people will still be subjected to the torture that is conversion therapy as it only applies to gay and bisexual individuals.
If you’re unsure how to answer, “what is conversion therapy?” then keep reading. No, it’s not just an effort on behalf of people who dislike the community to squash out any fabulousness we bring into the world. Instead, it’s an abusive and outdated practice that aims to change people from gay to straight.
It’s almost comical that conversion therapy organizations think they can beat the gay out of someone because it’s been scientifically proven that homosexuality is natural. Meanwhile, there is no scientific evidence that conversion therapy leads to a change in sexual orientation.
When someone is sent to a conversion therapy center, you might be thinking how bad it could be. When people are sent here, they don’t just attend brainwashing group therapy. In some instances, the people, who are often minors, are physically abused. In some cases around the world, they are beaten, while wet, with lamp cords or boards and tied up in dirty, cold, wet rooms for hours on end.
Not to mention the unrealistic amount of mental abuse these people need to endure during their stay. Conversion therapy practice leads many into depression, and some people who go through this torture eventually commit suicide. How bleak is it to be told that being yourself is wrong so often that you are mentally unable to accept yourself for who you are, so you end your life? That is the reality of conversion therapy. It grinds away at your mental stability until you cannot handle it anymore. Those who do not commit suicide often turn to drugs or alcohol to deal with the reality of being themselves.
San Francisco State University found the following data when researching the effects of conversion therapy on LGBT youth.
- 8.4x more likely to report having attempted suicide
- 5.9x more likely report high levels of depression
- 3.4x more likely to use illegal drugs
- 3.4x more likely to be at high risk of HIV and STDs
It’s excellent that the UK government has imposed a ban on conversion therapy. Hopefully, the ban will lead to a global front of nations that stand against this hatred towards the LGBT community, but we still need to continue to fight so that our trans pals do not need to suffer.
Trans and non-binary people, collectively grouped under the trans umbrella, are highly marginalized and face greater oppression than other members of the LGBT community. Not only do they experience higher rates of attempted suicide but attempts resulting in death are higher. Likewise, they are less likely to be employed b a 2:1 ratio. Here is the data found from a research study by BMC Psychiatry.
- 73% self-reported a lifetime diagnosis of depression
- 63% reported previous self-harm
- 43% had attempted suicide.
It’s clear that this ban is a step in the right direction, but does it really matter if a significant portion of the community is left without protection? How does the ban on only gay and bisexual people make you feel? Do you feel it is fair or is there more that needs to be done? Post a comment because hearing your feedback can serve useful when people search for the content we write about. People who are looking to learn more will look at the LGBT community first, and that is you.