LGBTQ+ participants needed for survey on effects of conversion therapy in Ireland

Before a ban can be introduced, more information from people who have experienced conversion practices in Ireland is needed.

Conversion therapy survey has launched in Ireland. In the pictore: Person sitting with their hands clasped, beside her another person is sitting nearby.
Image: Unsplash

This survey has now been completed and data has been collected to inform this study.

Researchers from the School of Nursing and Midwifery in Trinity College Dublin are looking for LGBTQ+ people to participate in a research study about the effects of Sexual Orientation Change Efforts (SOCE) and Gender Identity Change Efforts (GICE) in the Republic of Ireland. These practices are more commonly referred to as ‘conversion therapy’ or ‘conversion practices’ and have been widely discredited as ineffective and harmful. The research has been commissioned by the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (DCEDIY).

There have been calls worldwide for these practices to be outlawed with countries like France, Canada and New Zealand recently introducing bans. There is similar campaigning in Ireland to ban conversion therapy, and Taoiseach Micheál Martin told crowds at Dublin Pride, “we’re doing a lot of research and work to prepare for legislation to ban completely conversion therapy in this country.”

A bill was introduced in the Seanad in 2018 that, if passed, would make it an offence to offer practices that aim to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity expression. Before legislation can be finalised, more information is needed surrounding how SOCE and GICE operate in Ireland and in order to do this, input is needed from people who have been affected.

At the start of 2022, a report published by the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism (GPAHE) expressed particular concern surrounding conversion therapy provision in Ireland. While the facilities named were not based in the Republic but in Co. Down, President of GPAHE Wendy Via explained that they were “significant” players within the global market.

She added: “They have a lot of US support – that’s scary. We don’t want US folks to stop these conversion therapy bans in Europe, but the network is significant and comprehensive.”

Researchers are calling on LGBTQ+ folk to complete the short survey in order to get an idea of how many people have been affected by SOCE and/or GICE in Ireland. Additionally, they are also looking for people who have undergone these so-called therapies to come forward and share their experiences in individual interviews. 

The survey surrounding conversion therapy is open to anyone in the LGBTQ+ community, or anyone who has been affected by SOCE or GICE. For more information on how to take part in the survey, and how to participate in the interviews if you have personal experience of SOCE or GICE click here. Should you have any further questions you can direct them to the research team at [email protected].

If you have been affected by any of the information that is contained in this article, support is available and information about how you can access it is available here.

© 2022 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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