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There was nothing to fix: LGBT+ survivors’ experiences of conversion practices

Galop commissioned YouGov to survey 2,042 LGBT+ adults across the UK about their experiences of violence and abuse, and their access to formal support services.

As part of the survey, respondents were asked whether they had ever experienced someone taking any action to try to change, cure or suppress their sexual orientation or gender identity.

The question was designed to align with the Ban Conversion Therapy Coalition’s definition of so-called “conversion therapy” or conversion practices, which includes any interventions “that seek to change, ‘cure’ or suppress the sexual orientation and/or gender identity of a person”. The wording of the question also reflects the ways Galop’s service users talk about their experiences of conversion practices. By including this item, the study collected the first nationally representative data on the extent of conversion practices in the UK, as well as qualitative information about the experiences of LGBT+ survivors.

Key findings:

  • Nearly 1 in 5 (18%) LGBT+ people in the UK have been subjected to someone trying to change, ‘cure’ or suppress their sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • Trans (43%) and non-binary people (36%) are significantly more likely to be subjected to conversion practices
  • LGBT+ conversion practice survivors reside in all areas of the UK, with the highest proportion of survivors found in Wales (25%)
  • LGBT+ people of colour and white LGBT+ people are equally likely to have been subjected to conversion practices (18%)
  • More than 1 in 5 (22%) LGBT+ people from religious and faith backgrounds and around 1 in 6 (17%) non-religious LGBT+ people have experienced conversion practices
  • The majority of LGBT+ conversion practice survivors reported that they were subjected to these attempts of conversion or “cure” by a family member (56%)