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2022 National LGBT+ Conference
29 July 2022

Conference welcomes the partial ban on conversion therapy announced in the Queen’s Speech in May 2022 that targeted ‘abhorrent conversion therapy practices’. Not abhorrent enough to extend to our trans siblings over 18. Apparently, the rights of trans people are part of a ‘balancing act’ that needs ‘careful management’. Not empathy, not protection, but ‘careful management’.

Trans people are receiving escalating and sustained attacks on their rights. The toxic debate ignited by the United Kingdom (UK) government’s consultation on reforming the Gender Recognition Act has intensified, supported by high profile celebrities and government ministers.

Trans people are at a greater risk of experiencing the harmful & degrading practices involved in conversion therapy. Trans people don’t need careful management, they need protection.

1. Ban Conversion Therapy found 13% of transgender people have been through conversion therapy, while 7% of LGBT+ people as a whole have had similar experiences;

2. The UK government’s 2018 National LGBT Survey found that trans respondents and respondents from some ethnic minority backgrounds were twice as likely to have undergone conversion therapy as other respondents;

3. A 2018 study published in the American Journal of Public Health found that LGBTQ+ young people who had been exposed to conversion therapy were more than twice as likely to report attempting suicide following the experience;

4. The American Psychological Association has also linked conversion therapy to depression and suicidality in survivors.

Conference emphasises the fact that conversion therapy has no legal, medical, or professional standing. It is pseudoscience, based on hatred and malice towards LGBT+ people and it has no place in our society in any shape or form.

While the majority of people still get offered conversion therapy by a faith group or organisation, it is also offered by family members, community members and even medical professionals. The partial ban allows for ‘non-physical’ conversion therapy for trans people over 18 if they ‘consent’. An 18-year-old (or a LGBT+ person of any age for that matter) can still easily be made to feel obliged to undergo conversion therapy. They are incredibly vulnerable, and are often subjected to discrimination and abuse because of who they are. Why wouldn’t you consent to please your relatives, or to reconnect with your community? Survivors know that consent is a sham, and coercion and control contribute to internalised shame and fear.

Conversion therapy is a stain on our so-called civilised society and conference calls on the national LGBT+ committee:

A. To work with Labour Link to develop a lobbying strategy aimed at amending the legislation to include all forms of conversion therapy;

B. Produce and promote materials to highlight the issues surrounding conversion therapy;

C. Work with regional LGBT+ self-organised groups to explore ways to support members who have been exposed to conversion therapy.