WARNING: This may be disturbing for some of you.
A famous photographer of Ecuador Paola Paredes has just released a photo series titled, ‘Until You Change’ which revealed the brutality of some rehab facilities which secretly house illegal clinics that claim to CURE homosexuality. Yes, you read it right.
These are disguised as ‘religious clinics’ where they can CURE gay people for about $500-$800. Even though Paola grew up in Ecuador, she did not know about such clinics until four years ago when one of her friend told her about the conversion therapy clinics. She was told that the LGBTQ Ecuadorians are taken there against their will so that they can be CURED. As soon as she came to know about the brutality, the 31-year-old photographer decided that she wanted to focus on these therapy clinics for her next project. And she did the same.
Although she was skeptical at the beginning as she thought it will be difficult to show the horrors inside the clinics because they keep themselves strategically hidden under drug and rehab centres.
She then found a couple of women, who were sent to those clinics but did not want to be photographed. Paola interviewed them for about six months, and decided she will become the subject of the project and recreate all the horror stories she had heard from the women.
Paola said that she decided so, as it’s very difficult to shoot their traditional practices as cameras inside the therapy clinics aren’t allowed. A report in Cosmopolitan quoted Paola saying –
‘A lot of these clinics try to have these traditional gender roles for men and women — if you learn how to put makeup on and you learn how to behave like a proper woman, then maybe you will stop being lesbian…And on the other side, there’s this horrendous type of treatment, horrendous physical and emotional torture.’
Paola said that the women are forced to put make-up forcibly every morning, and are also made to put on heels and skirts to practice walking like a woman in front of a ‘male therapist’. The report revealed another shocking thing. It said –
‘Some of the most harrowing stories involve physical torture and corrective rape. All the women mentioned the use of cables that were used to hit them, and one woman believes she may have been raped after taking a slew of unidentified pills that caused her to have memory loss. Refusing to eat the meagre meals they were given led to women being beaten or kicked by male therapists.’