News Brief - China's Gay Shock Therapy

by Aaron Shepard
in News
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China's Gay Shock Therapy

News Brief China's Gay Shock Therapy

Electroshock therapy was once commonly administered to gay people in the U.S. in an attempt to “cure” them of homosexuality.  Unfortunately, this continues to be common practice in many countries, including, China.  Shaunagh Connaire of Britain’s Channel 4 reported on this distressing situation in a recent episode of the foreign affairs series Unreported World.

News Brief China's Gay Shock TherapyConnaire traveled from a part of the world that is embracing LGBT equality to one where the lives of LGBT people are “somewhat darker.”  She saw “clinics that offer gay conversion therapy, sometimes even electroshock therapy, as a ‘cure’ for homosexuality.”  Even though the Chinese Psychiatric Association stopped classifying homosexuality as a mental illness in 2001, many there still utilize this outdated technique as a form of treatment.  There are, however, people working fervently to try and put an end to this atrocity.  John Shen, a leader of the Beijing LGBT Centre, is one such person.

This type of work is not for the faint hearted though.  In a nation “whose intelligence simply cannot be outmaneuvered,” it can be difficult to make a difference.  These brave men and women are constantly forced to endure the pressure of the authorities.  Yet they persevere in hopes of creating a better life for the nearly 30 million gay men and women living in China.

Bravery is everything.  If you are not willing to fight, then you are not committed to the battle.  John Shen and his colleagues are definitely committed to their fight against these “clinics.”