Account 3: Electro Shock

Based on a True Story

Written by Castiel Gutierrez

      I came out to my parents, knowing that they had been accepting of my cousin’s sexuality. But it seemed to have been a different situation with me.

I sat them down in the living room after I’d cooked them dinner. I sat in front of them and came out in a calm, and careful way. The first word out of my father’s mouth: abomination. After a month of feeling like I was walking on eggshells, my father gave me an ultimatum. “You can either leave this house and never come back or convert, it’s your choice.”

But it wasn’t my choice, he’d already decided. Although my mother wasn’t entirely against my sexuality, she didn’t save me from the horrors that came next.

I chose to leave, I went to my room and backed my bags but as I was leaving the house, I was stabbed in the neck with a needle – injected with a sleeping drug. I collapsed only to then wake up in a hospital bed. The windows were barred and spackled, I couldn’t open the door to my room – I was locked in, trapped.

I waited there for hours before a nurse came in, wearing what looked like a 1950’s uniform – the hospital wasn’t modern, it was far from it.

“Hello Mr McGregor, you will be staying with us until you’re well again,” she said as she smiled.

“How am I ill?” I asked as I stood up from where I had been sat on the bed.

“You have a disease called Homosexuality, but don’t worry – we can save you.” She smiled before she turned and left the room.

She left me in the room, my mouth hung open. I was dumbfounded. I kept thinking: how could my father do this to me? I was never going to leave that house, he wouldn’t let me. I was always going to go through it, he would have found a way.

From the very first day of being in the hospital, I was tortured. I was treated with Electro Shock Therapy every day for a month, and twice a day for a year after that. I was subjected to watching women undress and forced to have sex with them.

I wanted to die, I kept trying to kill myself.

After a year inside, I was allowed a telephone call to speak to a friend. I didn’t call a friend, I called a Human Rights Organisation to get me out.

Within a month of the call, I was released. We worked hard to have the institute shut down but couldn’t due to conversion therapy being legal in my state.

It’s been seven years now, and I’m still recovering. I have permanent scars on the sides of my forehead from the electrocution as well as mental scaring from the beatings and rape.

I spoke to my parents in a contact centre, one last time, this year. I asked my father why he accepted my cousin but not me, because Lesbian porn is a good watch. All of his answers made me sick to the stomach. Especially when he said I would have been okay with you being gay if you had a brother… 

My parents tortured me in an attempt to keep our family’s reputation in Church. They had hoped that the treatment would have worked, or at least killed me in the process.

I’m happy to be alive now – I may be scarred, but I’m happily married and defying my parents with every breath I take.

I survived hell, I won’t be broken by the aftermath.

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