Celebrities sign letter to ban conversion therapy

Dua Lipa, Munroe Bergdorf, Clairo, Charli XCX, Elton John and more are banding together to force the UK government to ban conversion therapy.

by Douglas Greenwood
10 July 2020, 12:44pm

Image via Instagram

We all know that the Tory government’s general thirst for the subjugation of minorities is rampant right now. But can you believe that it was last week and not several decades ago that they released a Very Fine and Normal survey asking the public to voice their “thoughts” on conversion therapy, as if there was a counter argument to “Ban that shit!” that was worth listening to? In a think piece published on i-D, we examined why conversion therapy was not -- and never should be -- something that’s up for debate. Or anywhere for that matter.

In the seven days since, a new London-based campaign group Ban Conversion Therapy has been working hard to draft up an open letter (no, don’t worry this one’s a good one!) to Liz Truss, the Minister for Women and Equalities in Boris’s government, asking her to ban the violent, damaging practice for good.

What’s more, the letter comes with some pretty illustrious signees across music, the arts and activism. On the music side, Elton John, Dua Lipa, Olly Alexander, Charli XCX, Clairo, Rina Sawayama, Little Mix’s Jade Thirlwall are amongst those who have contributed their names to the cause. In the arts, Russell T Davies, Stephen Fry, Tom Rasmussen, Raven Smith and Alex Lawther have signed the letter, while Munroe Bergdorf and leaders of every major LGBTQ+ charity in the UK have also signed their names.

Liz Truss’s history as a figure who’s not hugely receptive to issues surrounding trans and queer folk means that we may be waiting a short while for any kind of meaningful response, but with the backup of celebrities using their privilege to fight for it, she definitely can’t stay silent forever. As the founders of Ban Conversion Therapy UK Matthew Hyndman and Harry Hitchens say: “Use our resources, educate yourselves, write to your MP, chat to your families and SPREAD 👏🏻 THE 👏🏻 WORD.” If enough of us shout about it, we can bring this archaic, damaging form of mental torture to an end.

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