Brazilian Film Calls for an End to Gay Conversion 'Therapy'

'The Cure' exposes the horrors of the discredited practice still in wide use

You can't change someone's sexual orientation through conversion therapy. And there is no need to even try doing so, because—as legit medical practitioners insist, sane human beings know and gay people like myself prove every day—there is absolutely nothing wrong with being LGBTQ+.

Still, the "treatment" is employed in many places throughout the world, including the United States, according to this disturbing report from The Trevor Project. Conversion therapy is also prevalent in Brazil, as we see in an eye-opening short film called "The Cure."

Created by São Paulo's Africa Creative and directed by Santeria's Rafa Damy and Nicole Cruvinel, the film exposes the horrors of conversion therapy. It begins with dramatic depictions of the physical and psychological torture endured by LGBTQ+ people in Brazil decades ago.

"All the accounts within the film are real, stemming from situations experienced within the Pinel Institute in São Paulo during the 1930s and 1940s," says project manager Thays Miranda.

Cutting to the present, "The Cure" reveals an astounding statistic—in 2024's Brazil, one in every three therapists tries to convert LGBTQ+ patients.

The investigative work of journalist Marcos Sergio Silva inspired the team, along with Jean Ícaro's book Gay Cure: There Is No Cure for What Is Not a Disease.

Editora Taverna, the publisher of Icaro's book, produce the project.

"In the book, we come across an absurd number of psychologists who still apply the 'gay cure,' as well as reports from people who survived this torture," says copywriter Chiarina Costa. "It was the book that started the entire research process for the film and the project that aims to denounce, raise awareness and criminalize the practice."

Right now, there are bills in the Brazilian National Congress that would criminalize conversion therapy, but they are "held back by political bureaucracy and lack of supporters," according to Miranda.

That reality impressed upon the entire team "how important it would be to bring this issue to the general public," Miranda says, and to let them know "how this torture disguised as therapy still happens today."

If you want to help, you can sign the film's petition calling for the criminalization of conversion therapy in Brazil.

Advertise With Us

Featured Clio Award Winner



The best in creativity delivered to your inbox every morning.