THE SOCIETY OF TRUE LIGHT (Dino Wong and Joann Yeung)
· Quantitative research: presented findings on the experiences, motivations, means, perceived effectiveness, perceived harms, impact on sexual identity and mental health of SOCE; notable findings include it’s 3 times more frequent for HK participants to have experience in SOCE than those in North America, and they usually first experience SOCE during their adolescent years, and SOCE contributes to internalized homophobia that disrupts healthy development of their sexual identities.
· Qualitative research: identified the contributors to SOCE motivations (religion, family, education, society/culture) to forms a “heteronormative/homonegative code”; motivations (beliefs-oriented and norm-pleasing-oriented) leading to formal/informal SOCE; what contributed to the cessation of SOCE (knowledge, community, religious/spiritual and cultural resources)
DR. HSU CHIH-YUN
· Introduced the Taiwan Tongzhi Hotline Association
· The advocacy for a conversion therapy ban in Taiwan is set against the context of the push for same-sex marriage equality; medical professionals are heavily involved as advocates and published a position statement with the intention for it to be referenced by other Asian countries
· Discussed the rationale for banning conversion therapy through a letter of interpretation as opposed to a direct legislative amendment
· Shared anecdotes of his own experiences in advising LGBTQ+ children and their parents
· How to balance between having laws and policies against SOCE and religious freedom
· Difficulty in defining SOCE to be regulated, as well as the scope and form of regulation (extending to clinical psychologist/counsellors?)
· Difficulty in identifying SOCE because of its elusive nature: the conversion therapy ban in Taiwan is more symbolic in nature and serves mainly the purpose of public education than enforcement (no cases brought against SOCE service providers on the basis of the ban in Taiwan thus far)
· Differences between sexual orientation change efforts and gender dysphoria treatment
· Experiences in treating asexual individuals
· Consequences of medical professionals engaging in SOCE
· Advice on LGBTQ+ advocacy
THE SOCIETY OF TRUE LIGHT is a Hong Kong-based NGO advocating for self-acceptance among the LGBTQ+ community. Their representatives, Dino Wong and Joann Yeung, will present the findings of their pioneering study on the state of “conversion therapy” in Hong Kong, from both quantitative and qualitative perspectives.
DR. HSU CHIH-YUN is a clinical psychiatrist who runs an LGBT consultation clinic at the National Taiwan University Hospital. He previously served as the Director of the Taiwan Tongzhi Hotline Association, and has written extensively about LGBTQ+ rights and their intersections with his professional medical experiences.