Survivors of gay conversion therapy shared their harrowing stories with HuffPost Live last week after the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration released a report calling for the dangerous practice to end.
Survivor Josh Bryan Sanders gave a particularly chilling account of his experience of what he describes as a “gay exorcism-like” treatment:
“It’s not like ‘The Exorcist.’ It’s not like what you see on TV, but a very intense time of prayer, holy water, a dark room with candles. It’s traumatic and so for me, I experienced religious trauma syndrome … it’s similar to PTSD, so there’s triggers that I would have.”
Although opinions on conversion therapy are changing in the U.S., the practice is still used worldwide in many countries, specifically ones that are heavily anti-gay. Gay activists in China recently recorded sessions of electro shock therapy used to “cure” Chinese patients’ homosexuality as the Chinese government compliantly allows the practice to continue.
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Watch Sanders elaborate on his conversion therapy experience and his PTSD symptoms after running into one of his “conversion therapists,” years later, below: