Conversion Practices in Malaysia: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
CONVERSION THERAPY or conversion practices are a collection of harmful practices that aim to change a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression from gay to straight or trans to cisgender. Conversion practices are referred to, for example in Malaysia, as rehabilitation, prevention, or treatment programmes to “cure” and “help” LGBTQ persons “return to the right path”.
This FAQ covers what conversion therapy practices looks like in Malaysia, who runs these practices, how survivors and victims of conversion practices are affected, and what can be done to end conversion practices.
1. What is conversion therapy?
2. What is the basis of conversion practices?
3. What types of “conversion therapy” practices are there?
4. What does the government run conversion programmes look like in Malaysia?
5. What does the non-state conversion practices look like?
6. Why are LGBTQ persons vulnerable to conversion practices?
7. Can LGBTQ+ persons voluntarily join “conversion therapy” practices?
8. What happens to survivors or persons who have been affected by or experienced “conversion therapy” practices?
9. What types of recourse do people who have been subjected to conversion practices have?
10. Why are conversion practices so normalised here in Malaysia?
11. What has been done around the world to end, restrict, or discourage conversion practices?
Further Reading
United Nations Independent Expert on Protection against Violence and Discrimination based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (2020) - Practices of so-called “Conversion Therapy”
International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) World (2020) - Curbing Deception: A World Survey on Legal Regulation of So-Called “Conversion Therapies”
Asia Pacific Transgender Network Foundation (APTN) (2020)- Conversion Therapy Pracitces in Malaysia
Galen Centre for Health and Social Policy Report (2019) - What it Means to Suffer in Silence: Challenges to Mental Health Access among LGBT People
Justice for Sisters (2020) - Monitoring Report: LGBTIQ+ Rights in Malaysia
The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM) (2019) - Study on Discrimination against Trangsender Persons based in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor
This FAQ is produced by Justice for Sisters through the Gender Equality Initiative (GEI) in Malaysia with ARROW and FRHAM. The initiative is funded by the European Union (EU). Production team includes Nicole Fong, Aiman Azahari, Zaza, thilaga and Sulastri Ariffin
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