Tim Pocock recalls ‘soul-destroying’ gay conversion therapy


Instagram photo of actor Tim Pocock
Image: Instagram

Actor Tim Pocock has opened up about his “soul-destroying” experience of so-called “gay conversion” practices in his twenties.

The X-Men Origins: Wolverine and Dance Academy actor recalled undergoing harmful anti-gay hypnotherapy in a new video with Equality Australia, calling for NSW to ban it.

“I was first taken to see a psychologist to have my homosexual tendencies hypnotised out of me when I was 26 years old,” he said.

“The first time I went to see a psychologist to be hypnotised, I walked away feeling the most isolated I’d ever felt. There was never a conversation before being taken to him that that’s why I was going.

“A lot was going on for me in my life at that time, including my mum dying from cancer, that I did want to actually talk to a psychologist about.

“He cast that to the side. He only wanted to talk about how he could hypnotise addictions and something like homosexuality, which he kept bringing up. So I realised that was the only reason why I was there.”

In the video, the 38-year-old urged the NSW government to keep its commitment to a statewide ban.

“The concern that I have with NSW allowing conversion therapy practices to go on is that the way that I felt in my mid-twenties can really only be described as soul-destroying,” he said.

“I was a 26-year-old man. I worry about the 14 or 15-year-old kids who are being taken also without realising what they’re actually getting themselves into.

Tim added, “I could’ve even voluntarily gone to something like this, but that doesn’t mean it is what I actually wanted. My consent isn’t really there.

“It’s not informed consent when you’re living in a bubble like that and you’re doing your actions out of fear.”

NSW gay conversion ban delayed to 2024

NSW Premier Chris Minns has committed to a statewide ban on harmful conversion practices. But last week he confirmed the state government would delay a promised draft bill until 2024.

Both religious groups and LGBTQIA+ organisations want more consultation.

“It’s clear though that we need more time and more consultation and I want to get this right,” Minns said last week.

“Stakeholders have asked for more time to work through this.

“We’ll continue to engage and consult with a view to bringing a bill early next year.”

Tim Pocock says conversion therapy is ‘torture’

Speaking to the ABC in October, Tim Pocock said he underwent the harmful hypnotherapy to get rid of his “homoerotic tendencies” in 2011.

He explained a ban on the harmful practices is “way overdue” and likened the “conversion” practices to a form of torture.

“It might not be electroshock therapy or something injected into you,” he said.

“But having your mind warped and being more or less told you have less value than other people unless you change your way of thinking and change something about yourself that you can’t, that’s a different kind of torture.

“There’s been a lot of evidence in certain religious organisations of suicides and mental breakdowns resulting from these kinds of practices. That’s torture to me.

“The sooner that we can stop [these children] being psychologically damaged for the rest of their lives the better.”

Read also: Tim Pocock recalls shocking homophobia at religious school

If you need someone to talk to, help is available from QLife on 1800 184 527 or online at QLife.org.au, Lifeline on 13 11 14, Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800, or beyondblue on 1300 22 4636.

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Jordan Hirst
Jordan Hirst

Jordan Hirst is an experienced journalist and content creator with a career spanning over a decade at QNews. Since 2012, the Brisbane local has covered an enormous range of topics and subjects in-depth affecting the LGBTIQA+ community, both in Australia and overseas. Today, the Brisbane-based journalist covers everything from current affairs, politics and health to sport and entertainment.

QNews, Brisbane Gay, App, Gay App, LGBTI, LGBTI News, Gay Australia

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