Undercover Doctor: Cure Me, I'm Gay by Adam Boome ›› Undercover Doctor: Cure Me, I'm Gay

a documentary by Adam Boome.

2014 | 48 mins | UK.

Official Synopsis: "In this one-off documentary, Dr Christian Jessen goes undercover to both investigate and undertake controversial gay cures in the UK and the USA."

Dave says:-

To thy own self, be true. Well clearly not for some, given the hideous marketing of so-called treatments promoted as being a cure for homosexuality. Indeed there appears to be no end of self-appointed specialists willing to offer their services - for a price, to those who rather than rejoice in their homosexuality, feel compelled to seek treatment for it, as openly gay Dr Christian Jessen, charismatic physician of the Channel 4 series Embarrassing Bodies was set to discover in this insightful, if equally alarming documentary.

For here the good Doctor turned patient, more like human guinea pig, going undercover to access some of the growing number of therapists and self-styled healers who believe homosexuality is a curable illness. First off was aversion therapy. Obviously sidestepping the abhorrent use of electric shock treatment and chemical castration, Jessen nevertheless was given a drug that made him violently sick. Surrounded in his own vomit, whilst a voice on a tape repeatedly denounced gay sex as unnatural, here the objective was to create a mental and physical picture of homosexuality, as repugnant. Yet the real offense is the degrading procedure itself, one that whilst widely associated with the 1950s, was appallingly still available on the NHS as late as the '80s.

To thy own self, not to be true in Cure Me, I'm Gay.

To thy own self, not to be true in Cure Me, I'm Gay.

Moving on, Jessen travelled to America, the Bible Belt to be specific and here and by no surprise same-sex conversion treatments are ever in demand. From gay rehab to colour therapy, the message is the same, that of a professed cure, even if it soon became apparent that the guise that homosexuality is the result of a traumatic experience, perhaps abuse, suffered as a child, is the current diagnosis of the day, a finding that Jessen both personally and professionally rejected outright. Yet just as upsetting was his encounter with a group of young Evangelical Christians, namely the adults of tomorrow who worryingly viewed homosexuality as a sin, one caused by gay demons. It's a theme echoed upon Jessen's return to the UK, having witnessed a pastor in East London conducting a human exorcism, so as to rid the individual of the devil within him.

Yet for all of the purported therapies that Jessen endured, he was before and thereafter 100% gay; that of a happy homosexual. And he's not the only one, as along the way he met a family man who after five years of costly corrective counselling, is now living with his boyfriend, let alone an ex-gay rehab therapist, now openly gay. True, the voice of the ex-gay movement is ever to be heard, only interestingly when its members were asked to undergo a pupil dilation and penile arousal examination, none, bar one man medically over the age of participation, opted to put their newfound heterosexuality to the sexual lie detector test.

That such draconian techniques are still being employed in this day and age, makes you seriously question what this says of a society that finds many believing homosexuality to be an illness, subject to a cure. Indeed you begin to wonder just what you are witnessing, given such treatments can have potentially harmful, if not fatal consequences on young minds. Yet as this often perturbing documentary was to conclusively prove, you cannot, thankfully, change what is natural; that of the sexuality you are born with. Some may try to deny it, but in the end and in the words of Gerulf Rieger of the University of Essex - your genitals don't lie.

a Channel 4 premiere

Tuesday, 18th March, 2014 / 22:00 to 23:00.
Copyright 2014 David Hall - www.gaycelluloid.com.
archive reference #2014018
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