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Digital Subscriptions > Gay Times > October 17 > THE INHERITANCE OF SHAME

THE INHERITANCE OF SHAME

Following a traumatic experience of child sexual abuse, and a strongly religious upbringing, writer Peter Gajdics found himself in the hands of an abusive doctor with extreme plans to ‘cure’ him of his homosexuality. His new memoir, The Inheritance of Shame, tells the extraordinary story of the years-long ordeal that followed. Here, he talks to Gay Times about why he needed to speak out, and how to stop this horror from happening to others.

THE HORRIFIC EFFECTS OF CONVERSION THERAPY ON PETER CAN BE SHOWN IN HIS SERIES OF SELF-PORTRAITS. THE FIRST, TOP LEFT, WAS COMPLETED IN 1988, ONE YEAR BEFORE HIS CONVERSION THERAPY. THE SECOND, TOP RIGHT, WAS COMPLETED IN 1990, ONE YEAR INTO CONVERSION THERAPY. AND THE LAST PICTURE, BOTTOM, WAS COMPLETED ROUGHLY TWO YEARS INTO CONVERSION THERAPY.

All forms of conversion or reparative therapies start with some version of the same lie – that to be gay is a disease, an error, or the result of sexual abuse. That lie creates an internal logic that carries you down a road that can go for years. Any evidence to the contrary – science, books, movies, doesn’t matter – when you believe in that internal logic, you live it.

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About Gay Times

In this issue, we highlight the queer people of colour who continue to fight for equality, justice and visibility all over the world. Fresh from a media firestorm surrounding comments she made about white supremacy, we talk to Munroe Bergdorf about the importance of speaking up; Jason Okundaye about the controversy surrounding his claims about widespread racism in the UK; Bisi Alimi on how only death will prevent him for fighting for the lives of LGBT+ Nigerians; and Travis Alabanza on using performance as a salve for healing. We also look at how activists like Bayard Rustin paved the way for generations of young activists, and how musicians like Sylvester and Ma Rainey set the blueprint for artists like Prince, Beyonce and Rihanna. Allies and media representation continue to play an important role in the modern gay rights movement. Luke Goss speaks on the “absurdity” of having to vote on human rights issues, and we look at how programmes like Will and Grace have had such an enduring impact on the lives of LGBT+ people around the world. Elsewhere in the issue, John Waters on making trouble; drag performer Amrou Al-Kadhi on finding love; openly gay actor and musician Jussie Smollett on his groundbreaking role on Empire; and Charli XCX on her never-ending adoration for her gay fans. Finally, our cover star, Harry Judd, takes us on his journey of battling anxiety and stress with fitness and implores all of us to approach a more holistic approach to our lives and wellbeing. As usual, the issue is packed with style, travel, opinion and politics, and is available to download now.
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