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The Tragedies of Conversion Therapy

Written by Anjika Fatehpuria

Illustrated by Ayushi Banerjee

Edited by Anvita Tripathi


In honour of pride month and all its righteous rebellions and worldwide celebrations, Perspectoverse's Anjika Fatehpuria goes on to explore the deeper cuts and uncover the painful history behind the month-long commemoration. Perspectoverse presents: The Tragedies of Conversion therapy.


In May 2020, the heartrending suicide of Anjana Harish, a 21-year-old bisexual woman left the nation grieving and stoked a series of protests. Before her suicide Harish had uploaded a video describing her trauma of being subjected to conversion therapy by her family. Incidents like these are unfortunately not rare because of homophobia which is largely prevalent in our society.

Abhorrent crimes like conversion therapy, also known as "reparative therapy" or "gay cure therapy", aim to “cure” someone by changing their sexual orientation or gender identity to suit the prejudices of society. Conversion therapy as it is known, supposedly helps gay people overcome same-sex attractions. Change efforts are harmful during adolescence, and can increase suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts, and depression in young adulthood.

Mainstream psychologists say the therapy is ineffective, unethical and often harmful, exacerbating anxiety and self-hatred among those treated for what is not a mental disorder. Involvement of mental health or religious providers in change efforts is related to even more depression and suicidality. Although this practice might change behaviour, there is no scientific evidence that change efforts reduce sexual attraction or change gender identity. This can also lead to other problems for example- depression and low self esteem.

When one forcefully tries to convert somebody they smother their uniqueness and crush their fundamental rights. In order for the society to flourish and be harmonious each individual must be celebrated and allowed to embrace their sexual identity. The regressive and inhumane practice of conversion therapy can only be stopped by creating a colossal wave of awareness and smashing all taboos related to homosexuality. The APA Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation found “There is insufficient evidence that [sexual orientation change efforts] are efficacious for changing sexual orientation."

Our sexual orientation is a way to manifest our unique identity. This orientation doesn’t make or destroy us. It is a part of who we are and no one can or should change that. Legal recourses should also be available for individuals who undergo the injustice of conversion therapy.

What comes to mind are the beautiful lines of Lady Gaga’s song-

“I was born this way

Don't hide yourself in regret

Just love yourself and you're set.”

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