The inhumane, discriminatory, and pseudoscientific practice of ‘conversion therapy’ is still legally allowed by the federal government. According to the Trevor Project, more than 700,000 LGBTQA2S+ people have been subjected to efforts to change their sexual orientation or gender identity — the psychological impact of which can include depression, anxiety, social isolation, and suicidal thoughts.
Now is a crucial moment for LGBTQA2S+ rights in Canada: Bill C-8, introduced to the House of Commons earlier this year, may soon ban 'conversion therapy' once and for all. (Sign our petition here to make sure this bill passes.).
In this panel, Dr. Kristopher Wells and Matt Ashcroft will speak from their own personal and professional experiences on this issue, and what work they still see as crucial for LGBTQA2S+ rights going forward.
Dr. Kristopher Wells is the Canada Research Chair for the Public Understanding of Sexual and Gender Minority Youth and a professor from MacEwan University. His work as a scientific consultant and LGBTQA2S+ rights advocate has been recognized internationally.
Matt Ashcroft is an LGBTQA2S+ and racial equity advocate, and student at the University of Toronto majoring in Equity Studies. As a conversion therapy survivor, his advocacy includes confronting gaps in legislation that allow for systemic abuses such as sexual orientation and gender identity change efforts to further marginalize LGBTQA2S+ people in Canada, the United States, and abroad.
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