Grant to help LGBT conversion survivors

Researchers from La Trobe University have been awarded an Australian Research Council Linkage grant to improve the support provided to survivors of LGBT conversion practices.

Dr Timothy Jones from the School of Humanities and Social Sciences will investigate the impact of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) conversion practices in Australia.

“Previous research has shown that attempts to change the sexual and gender orientation of LGBT people using conversion practices does not work. But little is known about the associated risks, and lasting impact on survivors, which our project aims to change,” Dr Jones said.

Dr Jones said the research will also be instrumental in informing future treatment and support for survivors of conversion practices.

“We know that many survivors suffer immense trauma and grief as a result of their experiences. This research will help religious leaders and healthcare professionals provide best practice support to survivors,” Dr Jones said.

A La Trobe study found religion-based LGBT conversion practices are pervasive in many faith communities in Australia, and causing real harm to LGBT people.

Dr Jones will lead a team of researchers from the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society at La Trobe University and Macquarie University.

La Trobe Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research and Industry Engagement Professor Susan Dodds congratulated Dr Jones on the successful funding application.

“This grant recognises La Trobe’s contribution to enhancing healthy communities in Australia. I am proud that La Trobe researchers continue to tackle important health and societal issues that have a profound and lasting impact on people’s lives,” Professor Dodds said.

Senior Research Fellow at the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society Dr Jennifer Power said she expected the project findings will have far-reaching impacts.

“This research will identify strategies for religious communities to work collaboratively with LGBT communities to progress mutual human rights objectives, resulting in significant social, cultural and health benefits to Australians,” Dr Power said.

The funding partners for the project are the Victorian Government Department of Premier and Cabinet, the Australian GLBTIQ Multicultural Council Inc. and Brave Network.

Several other La Trobe researchers were part of research teams that received ARC grants. Full list of recipients on ARC website here.

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