Xiao Zhen (a pseudonym), is a Chinese survivor of gay “cure” therapy and a member of All Out, an organization that says it mobilizes “millions of people and their social networks to build a powerful global movement for love and equality.”
China stopped viewing homosexuality as a mental illness in 2001, but many private clinics still offer gay conversion therapy. Zhen says he received shock treatments from a Chinese doctor who tried to “cure” him of his homosexuality by “shocking the gay away.” In a newly released video describing his harrowing experiece, Zhen calls on the World Health Organization (WHO) to denounce gay “cures” as a detrimental practice.
“I’m asking the global medical authority, the World Health Organization, to back me up,” Xiao Zhen pleads in the video. “Thousands of us have signed a petition asking them to help stop these dangerous anti-gay ‘cures’ everywhere. Please join us. Sign the petition. Speak up. Make love win.”
“Empowered by nearly 100,000 All Out members, Xiao’s voice is being heard,” Andre Banks, All Out’s executive director, says in a press release. “The World Health Organization has told us they’re working on how to respond to our petition. As the global medical authority, the WHO must use its powerful voice to stop these dangerous gay ‘cures’ and battle the myth that being gay is a disease among political and medical authorities around the world.”
After considerable pressure from All Out members, the WHO has reportedly agreed to meet with Zhen, the first person to sue an anti-gay clinic in China. The ruling of his pioneering lawsuit is expected in September and could mean that conversion therapy would be outlawed nationwide.
Each signature on the petition that Zhen brings to his meeting with WHO will help solidify his case and will put pressure on Chinese officials to follow in the footsteps of officials in Argentina, France and Ecuador, who have already publicly denounced gay conversion therapy, and the state of California, which has banned conversion therapy on minors. Sign the petition here, and watch Zhen’s story: