In a culture dominated by tradition and religion, India’s LGBTQ+ minority faces unique challenges. Among these is the controversial procedure known as gay conversion therapy, a largely discredited approach to changing a person’s sexual orientation. Despite widespread condemnation, this harmful practice continues in India, preying on the vulnerabilities of LGBT+ people who feel ostracized in their profoundly traditional and religious country.
Sky News performed an undercover investigation into the world of Indian gay conversion therapy in an effort to reveal the brutal truth of this issue. The study uncovered how some doctors in India are still offering these so-called “cures” to naïve LGBT+ people, preying on their desperation and cultural constraints.
The Practitioner in Spotlight:
Dr. Shriyans Jain’s clinic, above a used car store on a bustling Delhi street, promotes itself as the city’s “best sexologist.”
Dr. Jain is a modern doctor (MBBS) who also practices ayurveda medicine, an ancient Indian medicinal method. He’s registered with the Delhi Medical Council, and his website proudly displays his credentials. It includes several health concerns that he cures with herbal treatments, including premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction, and infertility. His services for homosexual and lesbian patients, however, do not appear to be openly mentioned.
The Undercover Investigation
Cordelia Lynch from Sky News showed up at Dr. Jain’s office appearing as a gay lady inquiring about the possibilities of altering her sexuality. Dr. Jain described his “lifelong cure” for changing her sexual orientation by modifying her hormone balance and “mental activity.” He said strongly that the treatment, which lasts a maximum of three months, is completely safe.
When asked about his confidence in the treatment’s success, Dr. Jain smiled and said, “You have to trust your doctor.” He stated that he has treated many gay and lesbian patients, albeit he cannot recall the precise number. Some patients, he added, claimed to have noticed improvements in just 15 days, characterizing it as a physical shift and the development of curiosity.
Dr. Jain suggested that an immune system that is weak and poor dietary habits, such as meat consumption, could be factors in one’s sexual orientation.
Following a medical examination, she is instructed to stand for 10 minutes on a vibration machine in the waiting room. The equipment, which resembles devices used for muscular training and weight loss, features a big, pulsating plate beneath her feet.
Dr. Jain’s team member then offers her three tubes of tablets and instructions for daily usage. The drug costs roughly £150 in total. The pills’ specific elements are not published, even though they are herbal.
Exploring the Controversial Methods
Conversion treatment involves a wide range of techniques, from medications to electric shocks and even violence. Dr. Jain’s procedures include vibrating machines and herbal medicine, which lend credibility to his dubious claims. These practitioners spread false prejudices and pseudoscientific notions by attributing one’s sexuality to factors such as food or immune system.
The Uphill Battle and Ongoing Struggles
India’s journey to accept LGBTQ+ people is complicated. A confluence of deep-rooted traditions, cultural pressures, and the recent legalizing of homosexuality has created a scene in which authenticity must be earned. The lack of information about anti-conversion therapy rules, along with inadequate enforcement processes, allows these harmful practices to continue.
The LGBT conversion treatment industry in India highlights the complex interplay of ancient customs, religious ideology, and modern advancements. Sky News’ undercover investigation provides a devastating glimpse into the lives of LGBT+ people subjected to abusive behaviours, while also emphasizing the ongoing struggle that activists have in eradicating this widespread issue. As India struggles with change, it is critical to raise awareness, lobby for legal reforms, and support the rights of all individuals, regardless of sexual orientation.