World

Chinese still believe 'therapy' can help 'convert' gays

18 Nov 2017 | By Sneha Bengani

Australia might be on its way to legalizing same-sex marriage, but coming out is still a nightmare for most across the globe.

Consider China. Despite being one of the biggest economies across the world, it still hasn't been able to put an end to 'gay conversion therapy', the controversial practice of using electric shocks and pills to convert gays back to "normalcy".

Here's more!

In context: Of shocks and pills: 'Gay conversion' in China

18 Nov 2017Chinese still believe 'therapy' can help 'convert' gays

DetailsHomosexuals discriminated against, ostracized in China even today

Though 'gay conversion therapy' is an open secret in largely conservative China, a recent Human Rights Watch (HRW) report reveals how destructive this practice can be.

It details 17 disturbing first-hand accounts of people who were forced into it between 2009-2017. Exposing the stigma surrounding homosexuality, the study is a narrative of suffering coerced medication, abuse, and electric shocks in Chinese hospitals.

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TreatmentChinese homosexuals forced into therapy by their families

Almost all Chinese homosexuals are reportedly forced into therapy by their families that think of it as a curable-disease. Most gays aren't informed of the purpose or the side-effects of the medicines they are administered.

For conversion, tools like mental/verbal abuse, medicines, injections and electric shocks are used to help them establish heterosexual relationships, and be repulsed/nauseated by feelings for people of the same-sex.

DetailsGay conversion therapy unethical, unscientific, harmful: World Psychiatric Association

Despite being banned by the Chinese government, 'gay conversion therapy' continues to flourish.

However, most global health organizations have denounced the reparative practice, calling it unscientific and harmful.

The World Psychiatric Association, which represents over 2,00,000 psychiatrists worldwide, last year said that a person's innate sexual orientation could not be changed, and that trying to treat something that wasn't a disorder was unethical.

Little changeFearing societal backlash, Chinese homosexuals live a lie each day

Being gay was a criminal offense in China until 1997. Homosexuality was officially considered a mental disorder until 2001.

Things haven't changed much since.

Last year, a Chinese court turned down the request of a gay couple to register as married.

Fearing societal backlash, millions of homosexual Chinese continue to marry heterosexual partners, and those subjected to "treatments" keep their horrific stories to themselves.

Yes to loveGay marriages are legal only in 27 countries

The Netherlands was the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage in December 2000.

As of now, only 27 nations have decriminalized such marriages, either nationwide or in some regions.

The Americas and almost all of Europe is pro-legalization. Australia is expected to soon join the club. So is Taiwan, which might become the first Asian country to do it.