Conversion Therapy


No one should be told their identity is something that can be cured.

Yet many lesbian, gay, bi and trans people are being poorly treated by health and social care services, including by staff who believe that sexual orientation or gender identity is something that can be ‘cured’.

In fact, our Unhealthy Attitudes (2015) report found that 10 per cent of health and care staff have witnessed colleagues expressing the belief that lesbian, gay and bi people can be ‘cured’ of their sexual orientation.

On the basis of this and wider evidence, we are calling for central government to publicly condemn this practice and take further steps to ensure the practice is unavailable.

We are also calling for health and social care leaders and regulators to communicate a clear message to psychotherapists and counsellors that trying to ‘cure’ lesbian, gay, bi and trans people is both harmful and dangerous.


What is ‘conversion therapy’ or ‘cure’ therapy?

Conversion therapy (or ‘cure’ therapy or reparative therapy) refers to any form of treatment or psychotherapy which aims to change a person’s sexual orientation or to suppress a person’s gender identity. It is based on an assumption that being lesbian, gay, bi or trans is a mental illness that can be ‘cured’. These therapies are both unethical and harmful.

In the UK, all major counselling and psychotherapy bodies, as well as the NHS, have concluded that conversion therapy is dangerous and have condemned it by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (PDF). We are working to make sure that this covers gender identity too.  


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A gay conservative thinks that banning conversion therapy harms LGBTQ youth

The therapists who promote conversion therapy aren’t motivated by the science or the condemnation of professional organizations. They are acting out on personal beliefs – just like religious figures and often for the same reasons. What’s more, they have the veneer of the medical profession to cloak their actions, making the harm worse.

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“Boy Erased” The Official Trailer




Gay Nation

Watch: Trailer Released for Anticipated Gay Conversion Therapy Drama 


Gay Nation

Conversion Therapy to be Banned in the UK

Further information and videos related to “Gay Conversion Therapy” in the UK is available below:

UK Plans to ban “Gay Conversion Therapy”


Terrifying Photos Recreate The Horrors Of Gay ‘Conversion Therapy’ Centers

The clinics are illegal in Ecuador but still operate in secrecy.

A new collection of photos is providing a striking ― and horrifying ― visual recreation of the barbaric practice of gay “conversion therapy” and the impact it has on its victims. 

Photographer Paola Paredes first learned of the “Clinicas de Deshomosexualizacion” in her home country of Ecuador four years ago from a friend. After completing a project called “Unveiled” that documented her own coming out process ― including filming herself with three cameras as she came out to her parents ― Paredes decided the focus of her next work would be on these gay “conversion therapy” clinics. 

Paredes told HuffPost that while these “conversion” therapy centers are illegal in Ecuador, they often operate covertly out of houses or addiction clinics for alcohol or drugs in remote Ecuadorian towns. 

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An excerpt from the Feb. 12, 1965, issue of TIME

An excerpt from the Feb. 12, 1965, issue of TIME

A Half-Century of Conflict Over Attempts to ‘Cure’ Gay People

Fifty years ago today, TIME ran a short article under the headline, “Homosexuals Can Be Cured.” The article reported that male homosexuals responded well to group psychotherapy, under the care of 64-year-old University of Pennsylvania professor and psychiatrist Samuel Hadden. Over the course of four to eight years, Hadden explained, patients shared and interpreted each other’s dreams, cast aside their “flamboyant” clothes and manners, worked through their hostilities and neuroses, and began dating women. Marriages were saved and made.
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Shock the Gay Away: Secrets of Early Gay Aversion Therapy Revealed (PHOTOS)


With the recent announcement from Exodus International that it is closing its doors, and with its leaders offering apologies for their actions, the LGBT community is now left wondering, “Can this really be the end of ex-gay reparative therapy? Is it really over?” While the dust settles on all of this, we have to remind ourselves that it wasn’t too long ago that reparative therapies had less to do with praying the gay away and more to do with physically removing it.

Before the American Psychiatric Association (APA) declassified homosexuality as a mental disorder in 1973, aversion therapy was used routinely in hopes that it would prevent or eliminate homosexual behavior. Devices like the one below were used by therapists treating homosexual patients, and some of them were even available for use in the convenience of your own home.

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Conversion therapy is the pseudoscientific practice of trying to change an individual’s sexual orientation from homosexual or bisexual to heterosexual using psychological or spiritual interventions.

The gay “cure” debate has raged for years. The videos below may cause distress, are extremely thought provoking and in an attempt to portray a balanced argument includes videos of those who actively campaign for conversion therapy. 

The main objective is to highlight these dangerous practices and explain why so many people are calling for a total ban on the cruelty and suffering they inflict.


Gay Aversion Therapy 1970

TDT: Therapy for Homosexuals. A doctor administers shock therapy, similar to that used to treat alcoholism, as aversion treatment for homosexuals. 26/05/1970


What you need to know about gay conversion therapy

Democratic lawmakers introduced a bill that would ban the practice of “conversion therapy,” treatments that historically have targeted the LGBT community and claim to be able to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.


Surviving Gay Conversion Therapy (Trailer)


Gay Conversion Therapy = Torture

Conversion therapy is a dangerous practice based on the premise that people can change their sexual orientation, literally “converting” from gay to straight. A group that opposes gay conversion therapy is trying to enlist the United Nations‘ help in outlawing the practice by equating it with torture.


Patanjali’s Homosexuality Cure

The Quint went undercover and investigated Patanjali Ayurved’s claim of curing homosexuality. What we found was both hilarious and alarming.


Arguing the case for gay conversion therapy

Gay conversion therapy has been labelled “potentially harmful and unethical” by various health organisations, including NHS England and the Royal College of Psychiatrists. Earlier this month President Obama called for an end to such therapies in the United States. So should it be banned in the UK? Patrick Strudwick, LGBT Editor at Buzzfeed, underwent gay conversion therapy whilst filming undercover. Mike Davidson is Director of the Core Issues Trust an organisation which recently ran a Gay Conversion Seminar in London.


Is this the end for gay conversion therapy? – Newsnight


Good Morning Britain: Piers Morgan and Mike Davidson


Stephen Fry meets an ex-gay therapist

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Stephen Fry meets the founder of NARTH, Dr Joseph Nicolosi and also interviews a former patient Daniel Gonzales.


Mike Davidson speaks to BBC Three’s “Queer Britain”

Should people experiencing homosexual desires be helped to change? Dr Mike Davidson from the Core Issues Trust breaks down the assumptions in BBC 3’s documentary ‘Queer Britain’.

He says that the public has become convinced that “self-realisation” towards same-sex sexual desires should be encouraged, but moving away from those desires shouldn’t be. He challenges this assumption and says that change should be encouraged if the person wants it.


Curing Gays

Documentary on conversion therapy for gay men by BC 490 student Tim Urso.

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