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"Gay cure" GP's ban a victory, victim says

Posted in: New Zealand Daily News
By Daily News staff - 5th September 2012

Craig Hoyle, 23, at May's launch of GLBTI community awareness campaign WTF
Gay Auckland man Craig Hoyle says the ban handed to a doctor who prescribed him a “gay cure” is both a personal victory and a win for others who have been similarly mistreated.

The journalism student, Rainbow Youth volunteer and blogger has forged a new life in Auckland after leaving the Exclusive Brethren. Raised in the Deep South of New Zealand, when he came out at the age of 18 he was living in Sydney.

He told a church leader he was gay and was told “There’s medication you can go on”.

Hoyle was then sent to speak to Exclusive Brethren member and GP Mark Christopher James Craddock, who wrote him a script for Cyprostat during a 10-minute home consultation.

The drug lowers libido by reducing the amount of testosterone. Dubbed “chemical castration”, it is used to treat prostate cancer and for MTF transgender people, as well as men with sexual disorders and sexual deviation.

Three years after Hoyle complained, The Medical Council of New South Wales has found Craddock guilty of unsatisfactory professional conduct and he has been banned from practicing medicine.

He admitted he did not obtain a medical history, conduct a physical examination, take an adequate sexual history or arrange a follow-up appointment, nor did he refer Hoyle to a counsellor or a psychologist, despite the drug manufacturer's recommendation, and did not order a liver test or discuss the side effects, which include impotence.

Hoyle tells Daily News that after three years of waiting, it’s a victory. “To finally have the medical board recognise that he is wrong is a victory both for me and other people who have been mistreated.”

The drug has not had any lasting impact on his health that he is aware of, but he has not yet had this fully checked.

He describes his experience with the GP as demeaning. “To be told that you’re something less than human and to be told that you need to fix that doesn’t do much or your self-esteem. And of course we know that suicide rates are quite high among young people and to put a young person into that situation certainly doesn’t help.”

Hoyle felt he had a responsibility to speak out when he left the religion, because he knows a lot of people aren’t strong enough to do so. “For me it was important to be able to give those people a voice.”

Now a 23-year-old well-travelled budding journalist and secure gay man, Hoyle says his life is about as polar opposite as it could be to when he met Craddock. “I’m involved with Rainbow Youth. I work at TV3. I’m at university – these are all things that are forbidden by the church. Three years ago it would have been hard to have imagined my life developing this way.”

Hoyle’s message to young people who feel trapped by their church or their family is that there’s always hope. “It may seem like there’s no way out, but just know that there are people out there who will help you and that if you follow your heart then your life will always improve.”

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