Despite being already in the year 2021, and despite all the efforts that have been made in favor of tolerance and against discrimination, the so-called corrective therapies for the LGBTQ+ community exist to date. Such “therapies” have been aptly described by many authors as “forms of torture” implemented by those who still believe that all people who belong to the non-binary gender have a mental illness that must be treated.
According to the BBC, in the United States, homosexuality ceased to be classified as a mental illness in 1973, and the World Health Organization (WHO) removed it from its lists of mental illnesses in 1990. (2018)
This means that, at the latest, corrective therapies to “cure” non-binary gender people should have ceased to exist in 1990. However, the belief that homosexuality is an illness prevails in large sectors of society, causing clinics or associations to continue to exist that promise to “cure” homosexuality and transsexuality for people who undergo them.
The “therapies”, or (more accurately called) forms of torture, have gone beyond the limits of physical and psychological health in an attempt to eradicate a part of the identity of those who belong to the LGBTQ+ community. These procedures have damaged the emotional state of these people to such a degree that there is a high statistic of suicides following corrective therapies.
Treatments can range from the imposition and forced reading of conservative ideologies, intake of hormonal drugs, the injection of drugs for neurological disorders or adrenaline, all the way to electroshocks and forced rape.
The vast majority of people who undergo these “conversion therapies” do so because of social pressure, either from friends or (more commonly) from family who do not accept them as they are.
The United Nations recognizes all these procedures as a lack of dignity and human rights, identifies them as a problem, and agrees that they represent a form of torture for the LGBT community. As if that were not enough, most of these therapies have no scientific basis. (Senate of the Mexican Republic, 2019).
The very existence of these therapies discloses the reasons why the community of people of the non-binary gender has to continue fighting for their rights.
According to the OECD, Latin American countries occupy the last places in terms of acceptance of non-binary gender people. Countries such as Mexico have already approved criminal sanctions of up to five years in prison against religious, medical and psychological groups that administer this type of treatment to “cure” homosexuality, and even then, there are still clandestine clinics and associations that continue with this type of procedures. This shows the lack of tolerance that still exists in our society. (El País, 2020)
Historically, the LGBTQ+ community has constantly suffered violations of their human rights ranging from rejection of who they are, of their identity, to kidnappings, forms of torture, etc. Today, although little by little efforts and small achievements have been made in favor of their freedoms, there is still much work to be done and many ways to contribute and do our bit.
There are currently movements and organizations such as #YoDigoNoMás (#ISayNoMore), which seek to broaden tolerance, acceptance, and knowledge about the cause. Being aware of and contributing to these types of movements is a way to do our bit, to show that we want to be part of the change and give back their voice to all the people who have lost it because of discrimination, ignorance and mistreatment that society has given them.
You can be part of the change, join this movement on behalf of yourself or hundreds of victims who have not been able to find their voice to speak out against this scourge.
Find the multiple options we have to get involved with the movement and make your voice heard.