‘Conversion therapy’ does not always look the same. It can take a number of different forms and show up in many different places. For this reason, we think of ‘conversion therapy’ as any practice—which could include prayer or ‘talk therapy’ or workshops, among many others —that starts with an assumption that being Two-Spirit*, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer (2S/LGBTQ) is bad, wrong, or just unwanted.
We created this page for survivors of ‘conversion therapy,’ as well as those who experienced anti-2S/LGBTQ practices and aren’t sure whether it was ‘conversion therapy’ or not. You may also have ‘conversion therapy’ survivors in your life, and reading the information on this page could help you better support them.
Stories from Canadian individual ‘conversion therapy’ survivors
Findings from the SOGIECE Survivor Support Project (2021-22)
Survivor-led support groups
Research on ‘conversion therapy’ in Canada
1. Stories from Canadian survivors
Erika Muse’s story, featured on the Centre for Gender and Sexual Health Equity website, June 25, 2020: https://cgshe.ca/cgshe/2020/06/a-personal-letter-from-erika-muse/
Jules Sherred’s story, featured in Xtra, October 26, 2020: https://xtramagazine.com/power/conversion-therapy-trans-canada-bill-c-6-183403
Sonja Taylor’s & Jonathan Brower’s stories, featured on Global News, July 12, 2019: https://globalnews.ca/news/5483599/lgbtq2-survivors-journey-canada-conversion-therapy/
David Kinitz’s story, featured on The Conversation, March 10, 2020: https://theconversation.com/how-i-ended-up-in-conversion-therapy-and-why-canadas-proposed-ban-is-only-a-first-step-for-lgbtq-youth-131647
Harper Perrin’s story, featured on They & Us CBC Podcast, June 23, 2020: https://www.cbc.ca/listen/cbc-podcasts/424-they-us/episode/15783423-episode-2-what-kind-of-man-do-you-want-to-be
2. Findings from the SOGIECE Survivor Support Project
In 2021-22, Jordan Sullivan led a national project to develop support systems for Two-Spirit and LGBTQ+ people in Canada who have been harmed by the expectations of change or denial efforts. His team surveyed and interviewed hundreds of ‘conversion therapy’ survivors, in order to better understand how we can support the healing and recovery process.
You can read more about this project here:
3. Survivor-led support groups
We are aware of the following support groups currently meeting in North America. Please let us know if you have others to add to this list.
CT Survivors Connect (Canada): https://www.facebook.com/groups/1648968095491569
Conversion Therapy Dropout Network (US-based but open to folks from Canada): https://www.conversiontherapydropout.org/
CT Survivors (US & Canada): https://ctsurvivors.org/
4. Canadian ‘conversion therapy’ research
What is the scope & nature of ‘conversion therapy’ in Canada?: results from interviews with 22 survivors (2020):
How many people in Canada have experienced ‘conversion therapy’?: results from a national survey with over 9,000 people (2019-20): https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0252539
For more information, visit the Community-Based Research Centre ‘conversion therapy’/SOGIECE page:
Still looking for more information?
Check out these additional articles and reports that may help you better understand ‘conversion therapy,’ its harms, and how to support survivors as they heal.
“Supporting Survivors of Conversion Therapy”, Reilla Archibald, MindMapBC (Canada): https://www.mindmapbc.ca/articles/supporting-survivors-of-conversion-therapy/
“Ending conversion therapy in Canada: Survivors, community leaders, researchers, and allies address the current and future states of sexual orientation and gender identity and expression change efforts”, Centre for Gender and Sexual Health Equity (Canada): https://www.cgshe.ca/sogiece/
UnErased Podcast, Radiolab NYC (USA): https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/radiolab/articles/unerased-davidson-gay-cure
W5: Undercover investigation into conversion therapy in Canada: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zc-I2EdbQiM
SOGIECE Survivor Statement (Australia): http://socesurvivors.com.au/
The Brave Network (Australia): https://thebravenetwork.org/
This page was compiled with generous feedback from:
We are grateful for financial support from the Community-Engaged Research Initiative at Simon Fraser University.
If you have information to add to this page please contact: Ben Rodgers at: firstname.lastname@example.org