“Conversion therapy” is a term that describes harmful and pseudoscientific practices used to attempt to alter a person’s gender expression, gender identity, or sexual orientation.
In 2020, ILGA World has released a groundbreaking report on the topic: Limiting Deception is an extensive worldwide investigation of laws prohibiting “conversion therapies” at both the national and sub-national levels. The report also explores the vast field of techniques used to try to modify the sexual orientation of lesbian, gay and bisexual people, to prevent trans youth from making their transition, or to make trans people stop or reverse their transition. , or to force our gender expressions and roles to conform to binary social stereotypes of masculinity and femininity. Strategies beyond legal reform are also analyzed to restrict these harmful practices around the world.
For too long, experimentation and abuse have taken place under the legitimizing cloak of medicine, psychology, and science. As detailed in the report, appalling practices – including electro-shock “therapies”, forced internments in “clinics” and exorcisms – continue to be used in many countries that push people of diverse sexual orientations, gender identities, and expressions to live lives of self-loathing, even the extreme consequences of committing suicide.
The protection against ineffective treatments and similar cruel is as urgent as ever: our report also shows how, thanks to the tireless advocacy of activists, survivors and grassroots organizations, states, health professionals, and international human rights everyone is speaking out against so-called “conversion therapies”.