Time frame: 2019

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression Change Efforts (SOGIECE), is a broad set of treatments, practices, or sustained efforts that aim to repress, discourage, or change a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, also known as “conversion therapy”.

Dr Travis Salway (social epidemiologist and affiliated researcher at the BC Centre for Disease Control) and partners organized the Vancouver Dialogue, a conversation that supported survivors of SOGIECE in telling their stories in a supportive, affirming, and collaborative environment.

The Vancouver Dialogue included 31 survivors, community leaders, researchers, and policy advocates who coalesced to:

  • Share professional and lived experiences about SOGIECE in a supportive, affirming, and collaborative environment
  • Identify key health and social service needs of SOGIECE survivors
  • Exchange ideas about pan-North American interventions, including policy and advocacy work, public awareness & education, and improved supports for SOGIECE survivors
  • Determine how research could be undertaken to fulsomely characterize the prevalence and nature of SOGIECE in Canada, as well as to inform interventions to prevent new harms and ameliorate ongoing negative health and social impacts of SOGIECE

By funding this work through the Community-Based Research Centre (CBRC), this event was a catalyst for broader research priorities around supporting the health and wellness needs of SOGIECE survivors. Through conducting in-depth interviews with survivors across Canada, researchers aim to shed light on the specific needs of this population to better support their long-term positive health outcomes.

Because the health of LGBTQ2S communities is an essential part of public health, the stories and collective expertise from the Vancouver Dialogue was used to form important research questions, with the aims of empowering survivors, identifying how to best support the health and wellness of LGBTQ2S youth and adult survivors, how to create institutional change, and what advocacy can be done to end SOGIECE practices in Canada.

The following are some of the outcomes and ongoing work being done:

  • Researchers published a detailed report entitled Ending Conversion Therapy in Canada
  • Advocacy around the conversion therapy conversation led to Prime Minister Trudeau issuing a mandate letter to Attorney General Lametti to “… amend the ‘Criminal Code’ to ban the practice of conversion therapy and take other steps required with the provinces and territories to end conversion therapy in Canada.”
  • Ongoing interviews are being conducted across Canada to continue the research
  • A second Dialogue event is being planned for Fall 2020

For more information, visit our website for a guest blog post from Dr Travis Salway Beyond the Ban: A Public Health Strategy to Eradicate Anti-2S/LGBTQ Practices and SOGIECE through the Centre for Gender & Sexual Health Equity.

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