British Government's anti-Trans Conversion Therapy policy

by Mark Segal of Philadelphia Gay News

Last week the British government presented its plan to outlaw conversion therapy, but the ban does not cover gender identity, and thus does not protect members of our trans community. In 2017 I wrote a column titled "Conversion therapy is child torture." Five years ago we knew the practice was mostly used on children. With our Trans community becoming visible, especially at younger ages, trans children are now a prime target of those who practice this ugly form of torture. Here's a look back at my column from 2017:

To the entire LGBT community: Let's begin as a community to state the truth without putting lipstick on a pig. Personally, it sickens me when I see someone from LGBT organizations on television calling conversion therapy "praying the gay away." That is downright as truthful as a Donald Trump tweet. It might show how we attempt to soften our message for consumption by the mainstream, but it also might hide something very sad: our own attempt to not accept what has been done to us as a collective community for years - and that, my friends, is torture.

We use terms like hate crimes and pray away the gay, but much of that has been done to "cure" LGBT people is sheer torture. And yes, I'm even talking about water torture. So once again, let's go back in recent history to make the points and hopefully get us back on the right track, as we are literally fighting to save children's lives.

For years, going back even before there were lobotomies - oh yes, many lobotomies were performed on LGBT people - society attempted to try and find a way to "change" us and make us holy heterosexuals. When the threat of religion and criminal justice began to fail, medical science showed up with lobotomies. Then, psychiatry put its hand in with aversion therapy, which uses the Pavlovian dog-like training to force us to be heterosexual with a handful of horrific tortures. There's the electric-shock system, some connected to genetics, water treatment, and then there were drugs of various types, some of which stopped people from breathing before an antidote was administered. People died, but in their minds, they probably thought it was better to be dead than be a fag.

Now comes conversion therapy. But this one targets mostly children whose parents are now trying to "save" them. Almost all the types of torture I've listed above have been used in some of these conversion camps… and others I didn't mention. ABC News investigative reporter Brian Roberts did one of the best one-hour reports on this practice on "20/20." It showed corporal punishment, imprisonment and lots more.

I think you get the idea. It's time to speak out strongly. Say it loud, say it clearly: Conversion therapy is child torture.

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