Drag Race Brazil host shares horrific conversion therapy experience: ‘They applied electric shocks’

Grag Queen conversion therapy

Grag Queen, the host of Brazil’s Drag Race spin-off, has spoken about being forced to undergo conversion therapy.

The drag queen shot to fame as the winner of the first season of the short-lived singing competition, Queen of the Universe, and later hosted the inaugural season of Drag Race Brazil.

Speaking in support of short film The Cure, which was inspired by the investigative work of journalist Marcos Sergio Silva and author Jean Ícaro’s book Gay Cure: There Is No Cure for What is Not a Disease, Grag Queen has opened up about her own experiences.

Conversion therapy refers to attempts to forcibly change the sexuality or gender identity of an individual, which is impossible. The methods used are often psychologically and physically harmful.

Speaking in a YouTube video titled Sobrevivente da “Cura Gay‘, which translates as Survivor of Conversion Therapy, the drag star detailed how her mother was called into school to be questioned about her son’s behaviour. Grag Queen, whose real name is Grégory, was then sent to a pastor to be “cured”.

“I heard my father say he would rather have a dead son than a gay son,” Grag Queen told the interviewer in the video.

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“They sent me to these places… I had fasts. I remember I fasted for seven-hour stints, everything in the number seven because it was the number of perfection. And I had to kiss girls, I had to date girls, to go against this demon.

“Then we started to do more specific treatments that had a booklet [with] photos of brains that were so rotten, we watched testimonials from trans women who had… become pastors to remove their breasts. They [told] us: ‘Look, it is possible for you to have a family’.

“They had this method where we stood in a line with our eyes closed and they applied electric shocks to us… there was a session where they wet our mouths, wet our heads, and shocked us many times while we had to repeat over and over: ‘I’m not gay’.”

The full interview is available to watch above, or here.

The film reports that in Brazil, one in three therapists try to refer LGBTQ+ patients for some form of conversion therapy. In 2017, judge Waldemar Claudio de Carvalho overruled a 1999 resolution by the Federal Council of Psychology which prohibited the treatment of homosexuality by psychologists, effectively branding homosexuality a disease and legalising “gay-cure therapy”.

In the UK, conversion therapy has still not banned, despite the Conservatives claiming in January 2023 that a draft bill to do so would be published after years of inaction by different Tory prime ministers.

Several LGBTQ+ rights groups have condemned the government for the continued delays.