Ireland may be one of our most favorite countries in the world but then again we have never lived there and had to suffer any of the powerful and evil bigotry that the Church have imposed on so much of the population.
If you have seen either The Magdalene Sisters or Philomena you will know a little of the malicious treatment of unwed mothers and orphans that ruined lives in the name of God, and that we suspect still lingers on in some parts of the country.
Even today homosexuality still receives the wrath of too many Irish organisations even though being gay is totally legal, as is same sex marriage. According to religious zealots who selectively use passages of the Bible to literally bash anyone who doesn’t conform to the more extreme passages which label being gay an abomination. Funny that, we thought it was intended to help us spread love in Jesus’s name.
It’s when these same bible-clutching people literally inflict their views on others and physically and mentally attempt to actually change their sexuality, is when the real harm kicks. As this heart-breaking new documentary bears witness, so called reparative or conversion therapy does not work, and the mere process not only ruins so many lives, it ends up with far too many gay people killing themselves.
Filmmaker Suzie Keegan lays out the facts to counterbalance all the inaccurate and scary rhetoric about this so called therapy on the eve of the Irish Government introducing a BIll to ban it once and for all. Nearly every professional body on the planet says this practice doesn’t work. The General Medical Council thinks it’s not just ineffective, but ‘likely ‘harmful. There is simply no evidence to support it still inflicting its pain on vulnerable gay man and women.
The writer and peacemaker Pádraig Ó Tuama is a survivor. . He went through conversion therapy in the early nineties when he was just 18 years old. A religious young man who had just moved to Dublin, and joined a prayer group who quickly turned on him. Identifying him as gay they made persistent threats of sin, loneliness and AIDS, as well as the public humiliations which led whole rooms of members to pray over him,
He is a proud articulate man who confidently knows who he is yet he still cannot shake of the memories some 22 years ago. His testimony is powerfully moving and it is impossible not ti be moved when he expresses his gratitude at being a survivor of those dark times. Remembering his friends who were not so fortunate, he poignantly adds ‘ the passing of this Bill will be too late”.
This unmissable film can be viewed globally FREE on the RTE Player App https://www.rte.ie/playerinternational/