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In China if there’s a buck to be made out of something, one thing you can guarantee is that there will be thousands of suppliers only too willing to profit from it. Though there is no longer state pressure for gay people to be treated against their will (it was only in the last decade that homosexuality stopped being considered a mental illness legally in China), the enormous pressure that homosexuals face socially and in their family lives lead many to seek “treatment” anyway.

Many parents and siblings will insist, on discovering that one of their relatives is gay, that the individual seek psychological or psychiatric treatment, as they are positive that their homosexuality is just a “sickness” which needs treating. In some cases they will actually physically drag the person to a “treatment centre”.

Liu Chunjian - The "Therapist" that "cures" gay men in the film

A documentary, “Cures that Kill” which was released in the United States in 2011, documents the struggles of a Chinese man going through a religious program intended to cure them of their homosexuality. The participant describes fasting for two days after he has any kind of sexual fantasy, in order to remember his ultimate goal.

During the film in which the lead is encouraged to live a life of abstinence and prayer to “cleanse” his past through Jesus, there is a moment when he confronts a group of men following the same program and discovers that each and every one of them has considered suicide thanks to the depressing effect this “cure” has on them. This is his turning point, and he chooses to leave the program and has now had a series of happy relationships with men.

It is interesting to note that those clinics that profess to offer a scientific “healing” process, refused to co-operate with the documentary. Which, given their methodology is perhaps unsurprising. In a move similar to failed British attempts (back in the 1960’s and 1970’s when the UK was also in denial over the realities of homosexuality) these clinics often use electric shock aversion therapy.

The poor “patients” are either shown homosexual pornography or are surrounded by attractive naked males, and every time they show signs of sexual stimulation they are given a heart does of electricity through their genitals. This kind of shock therapy can be dangerous (as previous evidence suggests) eventually leaving the individual unable to obtain any kind of erection, or worse it can lead to sexual fetishism where the participant requires a form of electric shock in order to achieve arousal. In either case this brutal practice makes no long-term difference to the person’s sexual inclinations.

These "cures" are far less common in Taiwan, thanks mainly to activists like these (Source: Wikipedia)

Other approaches through these so called “medical” establishments include drug therapy, and even surgery. Again this approach has shown absolutely no success, whatsoever.

It is very clear from all literature that being gay is not a disease, it cannot be “cured” because it is not an illness (whatever any organization wishes to claim), and it is a sad thing that this industry can flourish in China due to lax regulations and a general misunderstanding of all matters sexual.

I apologies for the overuse of quotation marks in this piece, but I felt it was the only way to convey this information without appearing to endorse it. Which I don’t in any way.