What’s it like to experience the torture of ‘ex-gay’ conversion therapy
Photographer Paola Peredes’ new series “Until You Change” re-enacts some of the techniques used in gay conversion therapy facilities in Ecuador.
Conversion therapy is psychological treatment or spiritual counseling designed to change a person’s sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual. Treatments in the past have included chemical castration, hormonal therapy, electroshock therapy, the use of nausea-inducing drugs and masturbatory reconditioning.
Peredes first caught the media’s attention with “Unveiled” in which she documented the moment she told her parents about her homosexuality.
She said that a friend tipped her off about the clinics that claim to cure homosexuality using techniques including starvation, abuse and corrective rape.
She told Huck Magazine:
“Since I was going through my own personal journey with my sexuality at the time, it affected me in a completely personal way.
“The thought that I could be locked up in one of these clinics myself lingered in my mind for years and I think, deep down, I knew I had to create something about it.”
So she went undercover. Wearing a microphone, hidden in her bra, she was taken by her parents to one of these facilities, to get closer to these horrors herself: “What shocked me the most was when I saw the girls,” says Paola. “They had been forced to wear makeup and my informants had described it perfectly: bright red lips, pink cheeks, and blue eye-shadow.”