The Economist | Many people in China believe that gays can be cured


ILGA will share articles from The Economist ahead of its Pride and Prejudice event throughout spring 2018.
Excerpts shared with kind permission of the publisher


Quack treatments are available even in public hospitals

AFTER undergoing hypnosis at a clinic in Chongqing, Peng Yanhui—who goes by the name Yanzi—was told to lie on a sofa, think about having sex with another man and move his finger if he felt any emotional or physical reaction. “Then, when my eyes were closed, the clinician suddenly turned on the electroshock machine,” he recalls. “I jumped up screaming loudly. When I said I was scared, he just smiled and said that was what he wanted.”

Yanzi (pictured in 2014 outside a court in Beijing at which he successfully sued the clinic) had good cause to be frightened. But he was not surprised. As a gay-rights activist, he had volunteered for the abusive “conversion” therapy to expose the prevalence of such treatments in China, which most doctors in developed countries consider to be unethical and medically fallacious. But many people who suffer similar ordeals do so under coercion. A new report by Human Rights Watch, an American NGO, gives details of 17 cases in 12 different provinces of people subjected to prolonged therapy involving medication or electric shocks, often under parental pressure. Most of the examples it cites occurred in public hospitals.

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The Economist's Pride and Prejudice event will take place on 24 May 2018 in London, New York and Hong Kong

ILGA supports Pride and Prejudice, a global initiative organised by The Economist Events that will catalyse fresh debate on the economic and human costs of discrimination against the LGBT community. The 24-hour event taking place on May 24th, 2018 will begin in Hong Kong, continue in London and end in New York. Find out more about Pride and Prejudice here.

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