One in three trans people targeted for ‘conversion therapy’ in Colombia

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05/06/2020

One in five LGBT+ people have undergone “conversion therapy” to make them straight in Colombia, rising to one in three trans people, researchers said on Wednesday, amid global moves to ban the practice as it can cause severe mental health problems. High levels of psychological distress were evident, with one in two thinking of suicide and one in four attempting to end their life in Colombia’s largest LGBT+ survey by the U.S.-based Williams Institute at UCLA and Colombia Collaborative Project. “Considering the levels of violence, victimisation, and discrimination that LGBT respondents experienced, it is not surprising that respondents reported such high rates of suicidal ideation and attempts,” said co-author Jennifer Florez-Donado. “As a clinical psychologist, every week I have parents who come to me with their LGBT children … so that I can help their children become heterosexual,” she said, adding that Colombian families also turn to religious leaders to cure the “illness”.

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