After two years of waiting, trans people have finally been added to the memorandum of understanding on conversion therapy, an issue which Karen Pollock has been following.
Almost a year ago, The Queerness featured an open letter to the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy, calling for trans people to be added to the memorandum of understanding on conversion therapy. There was considerable confusion as to why they had not be included in the first place, and a belief that this protection was vital to prevent the proven harms of conversion therapy.
Yesterday (Monday 16 January), gender was finally added to the Memorandum of Understanding on Conversion Therapy, which has been signed by the following bodies:
A clear and unequivocal statement has been released by some of the signatories.
We the undersigned UK organisations wish to state that the practice of conversion therapy has no place in the modern world. It is unethical and harmful and not supported by evidence.
Conversion Therapy is the term for therapy that assumes certain sexual orientations or gender identities are inferior to others, and seeks to change or suppress them on that basis.
Sexual orientations and gender identities are not mental health disorders, although exclusion, stigma and prejudice may precipitate mental health issues for any person subjected to these abuses.
Anyone accessing therapeutic help should be able to do so without fear of judgement or the threat of being pressured to change a fundamental aspect of who they are.
The MoA means that any member of the signatory organisations cannot attempt to ‘fix’ someone who is trans, or treat being trans as a mental health condition which needs curing.