Love & Hip Hop star Jonathan Fernandez has revealed he underwent traumatic “gay conversion therapy” as a child, including being injected with hormones and having his body constrained.
The image consultant breaks down as he opens up about his experiences on this week’s episode of the VH1 show.
At one point tells sister Jasmine: “It wasn’t just [being injected with] hormones…they used to lock me in a room. They would constrain my body — I would have to be in there for eight hours.
“I’ve been interrogated — ‘do you like to wear make-up?’, ‘do you want to wear dresses?’, and then…I don’t know what was happening, I know it felt like shocks.”
On the show, Jasmine is revealed to have found a folder when the pair were 15 revealing some details about Jonathan’s ordeal. But she says she had no idea just how much he had gone through.
Jonathan reveals he was sent to undergo the conversion therapy by his mom after he started getting bullied at age 10 because he “didn’t fit a conventional gender role”. She sent him because she didn’t want him to get bullied anymore.
After Jasmine asks why he never said anything about it before, he tells producers: “I was so young when this happened, and to be honest I was embarrassed about everything. Jasmine knew a portion of what happened to me, but I never mustered up the strength to tell her the whole entire thing.”
He then tells Jasmine: “I don’t understand how you can put a child through that. I don’t understand. I was a happy kid. I know I used to get bullied, I know I used to get picked on — but I remember one time halfway through the treatment mom called me and she was like ‘you know, puppy how do you feel?’ And I was like, ‘um, I just want to go home’.
“And mom said, ‘you know, you are the life of my eyes and I don’t want kids picking on you any more, so stay in there’. And this is my mom — so if she’s telling me it’s going to make my life better, I have to believe her.”
Watch Jonathan opening up about his trauma below. Tonight’s Love & Hip Hop episode will show him confronting his mom about his ordeal.
Love and Hip Hop airs Mondays at 8/7c on VH1.