CW: Depictions of abuse, transphobia and psychological harm.
A number of charities including Stonewall have released a distressing short film about the harmful experiences of so-called ‘conversion therapy’ in the UK. The video, entitled It’s Not Therapy, It’s Abuse, centres a young trans person’s experience while enduring the practice.
The story is based on real people’s experiences in Britain. It opens with a shot of the main character sitting on their bed while their parents encourage them to “get help,” and “get better”. As the film progresses, we see the character being coerced to sign a form admitting them to conversion therapy.
In the end, viewers are encouraged to write to their local MP demanding an immediate and comprehensive ban on the practice. After there was outrage last year in the UK over the potential exclusion of trans people within the conversion therapy ban, the British government announced in January that the ban will “protect everyone”.
In a statement from UK Culture Secretary Michelle Donelan, the politician said that the new draft bill will make sure all LGBTQ+ people will be able to live free from threat of harm or abuse.
CW: conversion practices, transphobia.
This is the reality of what conversion “therapy” looks like. Survivors suffer from lifelong damage and suffering.#BanConversionTherapy now. No more delays.
— Stonewall (@stonewalluk) January 20, 2023
Despite this, the It’s Not Therapy, It’s Abuse campaign website reads: “While the UK Government promised a trans-inclusive ban this week, we’ve been here before.
“We’ve endured countless delays, U-turns and broken promises in the last five years. Tell your MP you won’t stand for any more delays. Ban conversion therapy now!”
There is also a feature beneath the video for people to be able to find their local MP. According to its website, the campaign has over 52,000 commitments out of a targeted 100,000.
Findings from a poll conducted on behalf of Galop suggest that roughly one in five LGBTQ+ people and more than a third of trans people in the UK have been subjected to attempted conversion.
It’s Not Therapy, It’s Abuse sheds light on the covert but currently legal ways in which conversion therapy can occur in the UK. The film depicts the practice in familial, clinical, and clerical settings. Watch the short film below:
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