Let's Talk about Love & Equal Rights
There are a recorded 2.5 million gay people living in India, but many have had to conceal their sexuality in order to avoid persecution. Surveys in the subcontinent have shown that LGBT people are more susceptible to mental health problems than heterosexual people owing to a whole array of factors, including discrimination and inequalities. Even today with more outreach and ascertaining of rights, LGBT people are struggling to find acceptance within their own of families, homes, and schools. There are incidents of people coming out of the closet and declaring to their families that they are not the person their family expected them to be. A rare few who disclose their identity are accepted by people, there are others living dual lives having to hide such integral aspects of themselves, waiting for the right moment to be able to talk about the issue, in extreme cases, many have been disowned by their families. Many states across the globe have legalized same-sex marriage as they comprehend the need of having the freedom to love and to marry. A large percentage of LGBT people face-threatening issues related to violence, unemployment, discrimination, poverty, and lack of healthcare. Narrow-minded and biased people have issues with the way people from the LGBT community continue to lead their lives and choose to voice their problems. Much of India is yet not aware of what LGBT stands for, as they feel that being heterosexual is the de-facto way of living.
Clearly, there is a need for impactful policies and practices which can be effectively implemented to combat inequalities and disadvantages faced by the LGBT community.
Mental health complications
People identifying as LGBT are at higher risk of experiencing poor mental health due to lack of acceptance in society.
The mental health problems may range from depression to suicidal thoughts, self-harm, and alcohol to substance abuse.
Discrimination, isolation, and homophobia can be seen as the main causes which lead to a higher prevalence of mental ill-health.
Members of the LGBT community often feel dissatisfied with health services offered to them, as they tend to be discriminatory.
Increased instances of hate crime
They face a greater risk of experiencing hate crimes compared to heterosexual people, including gay men, young people and those identifying as LGBT from ethnic minority groups and certain religious groups.
Change in Attitude
On the positive side, there is a growing acceptance of the LGBT community in India among the young generation. Following the abolition of section 377 by the Supreme Court of India, homosexuality is not being counted as a heinous criminal offense anymore.
The most noteworthy part of this judgment is that it set a universal standard of human rights to decriminalize homosexuality and also acknowledged the responsibility of the state and institutions to end the stigma attached to being from the LGBT community. The court went even further and emphasized that the Indian government should put in place mechanisms that would allow the reconciliation of shunned LGBT children and their parents including steps for abolition of such shocking practices like that of “corrective rape,” in which families subject their LGBT children to nonconsensual sex.
India severely needs to help reconcile LGBT Indians with their various religious communities; following the court’s decision, many conservative religious leaders, turned down the ruling as blasphemous and promised to dispute it in court. It was not local religious leaders but British colonialists who introduced these inhuman laws to India. The British introduced Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code in the 1860s, imposing harsh penalties on whoever has “carnal intercourse against the order of nature”. That law was then extended from India out across the entire British Empire. It is the reason why most former British colonies are still, to this day, not only hostile to same-sex relationships but also actively opposed to it.
In recent months one of the topmost searched google queries in our country is relating to understanding how a person can be physically attracted to another person of the same gender/sex. This is quite alarming since homosexuals have been around since forever but it seems that the general population has completely ignored this section of our society and have considered heterosexuality to be the natural and proper other orientation, thus viewing other preferences to be an aberration. This attitude has been built due to a lot of reasons primarily because of the sideling and pushback of the LGBTQ+ community by the mainstream population. Most people refuse to acknowledge homosexuals as being equals. This leads to such questions being on the top searched google queries. The conclusion is that people view this as a disease which can be cured through various means, on top of all this, we in India have quite a handful of fake gurus, baba’s and the lot claiming to cure such “disorders”.
Even in most of the major religions of the world, homosexuality has been viewed as an abomination. This in no small part has contributed to the onslaught that the LGBT community as a whole has had to face.
One of the harshest justifications dictates that homosexuality is unnatural as homosexual relations are nonprocreative, but what one needs to realize is that relationships aren’t just for propagating the species but also for other individual needs. Unlike thought before, procreation is not only the driving reason behind relationships.
One has to realize that homosexuality is not a choice, it’s completely natural.
In the United States, Pete Buttigieg, an openly gay man, has broken all taboos, by running for the post of President. Its high time that we radically change our Indian society and accept differences rather than to discriminate and persecute them.
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