The dangers of conversion therapies and how we are defending against it
Although there is nothing wrong with a person being a part of the LGBTQ+ community, many people across the world have often taken issue with the existence of those within the community. The world has gradually been becoming more tolerant and accepting of LGBTQ+ individuals, which has begun to reveal some flaws within the laws of each country. In previous years, many countries across the world have banned the use of conversion therapy. Although this has yet to happen in the UK, the process is coming along. Conversion therapy can be very damaging for a young LGBTQ+ individual and it is tragic that anyone at all would have to be put through such a thing.
No credible scientific study has ever proven that being LGBTQ+ is a mental illness. Quite the opposite has been proven to be true. Individuals who are not cis or straight are just a variant of human nature. There is nothing ‘strange’ or ‘unnatural’ about it. Still, many conversion therapies use this as their main way of convincing people that they need the ‘cure’ that they provide. Conversion therapy doesn’t work. Studies have shown that this type of treatment can not get rid ones same-sex inclinations or thoughts. There is little to be said for the positives of this sort of ‘treatment’. The negatives, however, far outway any good that could be found. Those who go through with conversion or ‘cure’ therapies often develop depression, anxiety and self-destructive behaviour. Not only that, but it also worsens the stigma that LGBTQ+ often experience. Parents or families that put their children into conversion therapy often cause their child to have feelings of familial rejections. Children rejected for their identities were reportedly six times more likely to report depression and eight times more likely to attempt suicide.
When all laid out like that, I wondered why it’s an issue that hasn’t been tackled before. With all the damage it can cause on minds, it seems almost insane that it could be considered treatment. So of course, I had to do a little digging. That is where I stumbled across a little thing called the ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ in regards to conversion therapies. In 2017, the chairs, presidents and medical directors of reputable phycological and medical organisations, such as the NHS and The National Counselling Society, signed this document, stating that they would not endorse, perform or commission any conversion therapy. It also ensures that any new professionals under these organisations umbrella are taught about why conversion therapies should not be carried out. This is a great step towards the prevention of conversion therapy in the UK however it doesn’t stop them from happening full stop. The process of having conversion therapy banned in the UK will likely be an arduous one that happens in the shadow of what the government considered bigger problems but it will be a big thing for the British LGBTQ+ community.
People all over the internet are signing petitions and calling out for change to be made. Despite the measures against it in the UK, it is always better for us to protect our friends, community, and fellow human beings. Spread the word, its okay to be who you are.