Queer and trans Albanians rejoice! Albania has become the third European country to ban conversion therapy. Albania's leading psychologists have discredited the practice, which as we previously reported seeks to 'cure' queer and trans people of their sexual orientation and gender identity.
The Order of Psychologists will penalize anyone who goes against this ban. The Order was created by Parliament in 2017, and it oversees all registered Albanian psychologists. This ban by the order is the equivalent of a legislative ban.
Xheni Karaj, executive director of the Alliance Against Discrimination of LGBT, calls the decision 'very, very positive.' "We have had many cases of school psychologists [telling LGBTQ+] kids that this is a disease and you should be turned back to 'normal,'" Karaj said to Reuters.
The Pink Embassy, an Albanian LGBTQ+ organization, found that conversion therapy causes people to be 8.4 times more likely to take their own lives and 5.9 times more likely to suffer from depression. The organization went on to say that despite this massive victory, queer and trans Albanians will continue facing a lot of social stigma because Albania is a conservative country. "Social attitudes towards the LGBT community are ... among the most unfavorable at the European level."
#Gayes, let's hope the conditions for Albanian queer and trans folks improve!