‘I can make you straight in three months’: Inside India’s gay conversion industry

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07/28/2023

Widely discredited around the world, conversion therapy – which aims to change someone’s sexual orientation – is still legal in India but the practice of it by doctors is banned. Above a second-hand car shop on a bustling Delhi street, sits the office of the Indian capital’s self-proclaimed “best sexologist”. Dr Shriyans Jain is smartly dressed in a crisp white shirt and black waistcoat with a jet black moustache adorning his upper lip. His thick, dark hair is swept across his forehead. I’m going undercover to investigate claims he offers gay and lesbian people a cure for their sexuality. He is trained in modern medicine (MBBS qualified) but also practises ayurvedic medicine (a traditional type of Indian medical system). He’s also registered with the Delhi Medical Council. His website proudly trumpets his credentials, and lists several of the conditions he treats with herbal medicine. They include premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction and even infertility. But the service he offers gay and lesbian patients doesn’t appear to be advertised.

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