Troye Sivan: Gay conversion therapy is ‘dangerous and hurtful’

Troye Sivan on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

Troye Sivan has spoken out against gay conversion therapy, calling the practice “dangerous, hurtful and obviously ineffective.”

During his appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Monday (November 12), the South African-born singer explained why he opposed gay ‘conversion’ therapy while promoting his new film Boy Erased.

Sivan revealed that he couldn’t believe at first that gay conversion therapy was still so prevalent, saying: “When I first read the script, I was like: ‘This is probably set in the 90s or something like that.’

Troye Sivan with Boy Erased co-stars Nicole Kidman and Lucas Hedges, and author Garrard Conley

Troye Sivan is starring in conversion therapy film Boy Erased (Emma McIntyre/Getty)

“It was set in 2004, and it’s still happening in 2018.”

“In 36 states across the US, it’s still completely legal to send your kid off to conversion therapy, and it’s been proven to be so dangerous and hurtful and obviously ineffective,” Sivan told Fallon.

The 23-year-old “Bloom” singer said this was why, in August, he and his national tour partnered with LGBT+ group The Trevor Project to work on the organisation’s “50 Bills 50 States” campaign.

Troye Sivan singing

Troye Sivan called gay conversion therapy “dangerous and hurtful and obviously ineffective” (Rich Polk/Getty)

“It’s been proven to be so dangerous and hurtful and obviously ineffective.”

— Troye Sivan

“We’re trying to get 50 bills in 50 states to prevent youth from going through conversion therapy,” he explained.

Troye Sivan received much-needed support after coming out

The singer said he “cried” and “felt really sick” after realising he fancied Zac Efron when he was around 13 years old, but ever since he came out on YouTube in 2013, Sivan has been supported by his fans.

The proud LGBT+ advocate, whose work was recognised with a GLAAD award in 2016, received a fresh wave of praise earlier this year on the fifth anniversary of him coming out to the public.

Sivan wrote that the response “warmed my heart. I’m the luckiest in the world to have you all.”

The fight against gay conversion therapy

Sivan’s activism is necessary. In January 2019, New Hampshire will become only the fourteenth state to pass legislation stopping minors from receiving gay conversion therapy.

A study published earlier this year found that 20,000 LGBT teenagers will be forced into gay conversion therapy with a licenced healthcare professional before they turn 18.

Troye Sivan speaks onstage at the 2018 Glamour Women Of The Year Awards

Troye Sivan took a stand after a study found 20,000 LGBT+ teens will face conversion therapy (Astrid Stawiarz/Getty)

Sivan’s comments against the practice are backed up by numerous experts all over the world, who have agreed that forcing teenagers to repress their sexuality is linked to depression, self-harm and even suicide.

Dozens of organisations including the American Medical Association, the UK’s National Health Service and the Australian Psychological Society have condemned gay conversion therapy.

The Pan American Health Organisation, a United Nations healthcare body which covers 35 member states in the Americas, has said healthcare professionals who offer the practice “reflect a stark ignorance in matters of sexuality and sexual health.”

Any medical practitioner who recommends gay conversion therapy to a patient “not only offends them but also contributes to the aggravation of their problems,” the group added.