Gay British soldiers were subjected to electric shock therapy in an attempt to “cure” them of their homosexuality, according to a damning investigation into historical homophobia in the British Armed Forces.
Military personnel were still referred to doctors for conversion treatment into the 1990s, according to anonymous testimony in a government-commissioned review seen by Bloomberg and due to be published next month. The study contains more than a thousand anonymous reports detailing the use of electrodes, extortion, and sexual assault against homosexuals between 1967 and 2000.
“I was sent to see a psychiatrist in a hospital where they put these electrodes in my head and showed me pictures of men and gave me nice vibes and then showed me pictures of women and electrocuted me,” an unnamed victim said. Politics said. “I had some kind of bruise/burn mark where they put the electrodes.”
The Defense Ministry declined to comment on specific allegations in the report and said they had been made to ministers. A government spokesperson said, “We are proud of our LGBTQ veterans and are grateful for their service in defending our nation.”
The shocking revelations highlighted the harm done to thousands of gay, lesbian and transgender people over more than three decades by being banned from serving in the military, even though homosexuality has been legal since 1967. The report compounds the moral pressure on Sunak to publicly apologize for the landmark policy, and to compensate those affected by it for loss of income, hardship, and deprivation of their pension rights.
Another veteran, who served in the Royal Air Force, testified that they were sent to a psychiatric ward to be questioned about their sexuality while sitting on a commode. Electrodes were attached to their heads to take a reading of their brains while medical staff drank beer. They are told that they have a “shadow” over their brain, which explains their sexuality.
Referrals of young male staff to what is referred to as “therapy” continued into the mid-1990s, according to testimony by a civilian doctor who served on various military bases from 1993 to 2004. The medic recounted how the sergeant accompanied one of the men, who explained that he had told his superiors that he gay and was asked to book medical treatment. The doctor refused to administer this remedy and sent him on his way, but he never knew what became of the young recruit.
The review was undertaken during Boris Johnson’s premiership, with remit to take testimonials from those affected by the blanket ban on homosexuals in the armed forces that lasted until January 2000.
Terrence AthertonThe House of Lords member who led the inquiry said, in the report, that military personnel were told if they agreed to take drugs and undergo electroconvulsive therapy to convert them, they might be allowed to remain in the army. .
This, he said, left many “extremely traumatized”.
Although the government has promised to introduce a law banning conversion therapy, it has not yet published a bill. that Equality Center The government spokesperson said it remained “committed to protecting people at risk from diversion practices”.
The report on homophobia in the military follows a trend in recent years of the UK not picking on its often uncomfortable history over recent years and centuries. The legacy includes slavery and colonialism as well as misogyny and racism and touches some of the nation’s best-known institutions.
In March, the owner of The guardian He apologized for the role the paper’s founders played in transatlantic slavery and announced a decade-long program of restorative justice.


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