Ban Conversion Therapy

On Saturday 23rd April, we called on the people of Norwich to protest against the Government’s plans to exclude Trans people from the bill to ban Conversion Therapy. We met outside City Hall. Thanks to Hannah Dingle for the fabulous photos above.

Listen to Amy Nomvula’s fabulous report on the Protest for BBC Radio Norfolk

Letter to MPs

We have written to Chloe Smith MP (Conservative, Norwich North) and Clive Lewis MP (Labour, Norwich South) to express our outrage at the Government’s plans to exclude Trans people from the Ban Conversion Therapy legislation. We encourage you all to do the same. It’s important for MPs to hear our voices. This is what we wrote:

Dear Chloe Smith/Clive Lewis

We are writing to ask for your support for a comprehensive ban on so-called ‘conversion therapy’ in England and Wales for all LGBT+ people without further delay.

The UK Government committed to banning conversion practices in 2018, and released its proposals in October 2021. It was a central part of two Conservative Party election manifestos. However, two weeks ago, the Government appeared to abandon this commitment, leaving victims and potential victims at risk of abuse and lifelong harm.

In response to widespread criticism, which united the overwhelming majority of the LGBT community, the Government made a partial U-turn, declaring that they would still ban conversion therapy for LGB people. However, trans and non-binary people would still be subject to this cruel and degrading practice.

The UK Government’s National LGBT Survey 2018 found that trans people are twice as likely to have been offered or undergone conversion therapy (13 per cent, compared to 7 per cent of LGBT people). Last week, Galop published research that shows 11% of trans people have experienced conversion therapy at the hands of their own family members.  A ban that does not protect trans people is no ban at all.

Conversion practices are abuse. They cause severe and long-lasting physical and psychological suffering, violate the human rights of LGBTQ+ people, and were found by the UN to ‘amount to torture’ in some cases. The UN Independent Expert report on conversion practices found that individuals subjected to this abuse experienced “significant loss of self-esteem, anxiety, depressive syndrome, social isolation, intimacy difficulty, self-hatred, shame and guilt, sexual dysfunction, suicidal ideation and suicide attempts and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as often significant physical pain and suffering.”  Therefore, by committing to banning conversion therapy for LGB people, but not trans people, the Government suggests that it is fine to subject trans people to this abuse.

The WHO removed homosexuality from the international clarification of diseases in 1990; 22 years later and attempts to cure us are still legal. There is nothing wrong or broken about who we are. Our sexual orientations and gender identities should be celebrated.

We are asking you to do the following:

  1. To write to the Prime Minister to express your support for a ban on conversion therapy that protects trans people? 
  2. To make clear that you will argue for a ban that protects trans people throughout the legislative process? 
  3. To send a message to all your constituents that you fully support a ban on conversion therapy for all LGBT+ people and support the aims of Norwich Pride.

Norwich Pride would welcome the opportunity to discuss this issue with you further and look forward to hearing from you soon. Everyone at Norwich Pride strives for our fine city to be one where everyone feels safe to be themselves. This is not possible when members of our community are in danger of abuse. 

Andrew Copeman                 
Chair of Norwich Pride Trans Advisory Group    

Nick O’Brien
Chair of Trustees, Norwich Pride

Norwich Pride’s statement on Government plans to exclude Trans people from the legislation banning conversion therapy.

Our mission at Norwich Pride is to live in a city where everyone feels safe and proud to be themselves. In the words of the artist Micah Bazant, “there is no pride for some of us without liberation for all of us”. The fact that the Government has – under pressure – recognised the abusive nature of conversion therapy and protected LGB people, but deliberately ignored the Trans members of our community, is deplorable. Leaving any section of the public deliberately vulnerable to abuse is deeply irresponsible. The Government has a responsibility to protect, without prejudice, all vulnerable people. We call on the Government to ban conversion therapy for all LGBT+ people now.”

This statement was created with our Trans Advisory Group. If you could like to join the TAG and help to ensure that Norwich Pride on Saturday 30th July is as trans-inclusive and affirmative as possible, please email our Campaigns Lead Matthew Herridge at matt@norwichpride.org.uk. We commissioned trans artist crashcantdraw to create the graphic to accompany this statement. We are proud to always be a #PrideWithTheT.

For advice on how to email your MP go to www.banconversiontherapy.com