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The website is about use of so-called "treatments" that aim to make homosexual people heterosexual. It arose from research funded by the Wellcome Trust from 2001 to 2004 into the oral history of such treatments in Britain since 1950.
Treatments to change a person's sexuality are unethical and may be damaging. This is because we have known for many years that homosexuality is not a disorder. Nor is there any evidence that any such "treatments" are effective. If you listen to the BBC debate with Dr Jospeh Nicolosi (NARTH) on our Interviews page you will hear the evidence (or lack of it) discussed. In fact, the American Psychiatric Association explicitly warns against so-called reparative therapy that attempts to make gay people straight.
We collected a number of oral histories from lesbian, gay and bisexual people who had undergone therapy. We also collected oral histories from professionals who had developed and conducted the treatments. We wanted to know how patients had coped with the potentially damaging effects of "treatment" and whether the professionals had eventually realised the harm they were doing.
On this website you will find some of the oral histories that arose from that research. We have not put all the narratives here; rather we have included only those that show particular issues and that are the most revealing of how treatments were conducted. We are also adding to these stories by posting up accounts sent to us from people around the world who have tried to change their sexuality. To read them click on the Narratives button and then on Patient Story or Professional Story. You can also read about and listen to views about such treatments on our Interviews page.
We are eager to make contact with other people around the world who may have undergone these "treatments". Unfortunately, we are aware that many lesbian, gay and bisexual people have undergone psychotherapy, aversion behaviour therapy, or various forms of spiritual or reparative therapy, to try to become heterosexual. This may have happened to you or be happening to you now. We know that a minority of therapists continue to offer 'treatment' today. You may even be a friend or relative of someone who has received or is receiving treatment. If so, we would like you to send us your story.
We are also eager to hear from professionals, be they doctors, psychotherapists, counsellors or psychologists, who may have undertaken these treatments at any time in their career. Please send us your accounts of giving these therapies and what you think about them now.
You can do this by contacting us with a written account, or an audio or video digital recording of your account. If it is suitable we shall edit it to ensure it is anonymous and will not cause offence to third parties. We shall then add it to the stories already on this website.
In particular, we want to hear from people living in places such as India, South America and China where much less research into these matters has been conducted.