Two LGBTI campaigners have sent complaint letters about extreme gay conversion treatment found in 10 cities.
The activists reported the malpractice to health and business authorities in cities including Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Changsha on Wednesday (Dec 4), the Chinese news website Tongyulala reported.
Numerous national media organizations have since picked up on the story.
The psychological consultancies concerned attach an electric shock device to a gay man’s genitals or an elastic band to the wrist before arousing him. They also inject apomorphine to make clients throw up after showing explicit pictures or movies to them, among other tactics used.
China has removed homosexuality and bisexuality from its official list of psychiatric diseases more than a decade ago, in 2001.
But this has not stopped people from seeking help from these consultancies, whose staff are often not even qualified as clinical psychologists.
Some ‘patients’ are sent by their parents for treatment, while others are gays that are misled while seeking psychological advice, said Xiaoyan from LGBT Rights Advocacy China to Caixin.
Scholar Zhang Beichuan has put the number of straight women married to gay men in China at 16 million.
Last year, a doctoral student in Sichuan province jumped to her death after discovering her husband’s sexual orientation, drawing national spotlight again on the issue of ‘forced heterosexuality’.
Gays and straight allies alike have expressed outrage and disbelief over the reports of conversion therapy.
‘If one day straight people could be turned gay, I would unreservedly worship this “medical organization”,’ a man from Chongqing wrote. ‘Before that day comes, put your hands off me.’