May 17th is the International day AGAINST Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia. Way too many Indians suffer from most, if not all of these extremely saddening “disorders”. Hence, this.
It is a day to create awareness about the phobia that we all hold against those who may differ in their sexual orientation and/or may have a different gender identity. These individuals, who have apparently defied the laws of nature by being who they are, now fight for equality and human rights to sustain in this world with dignity.
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Why May 17th ?
It was on May 17th, 1990 that it hit the World Health Assembly of the WHO, that they’d been calling the wrong people crazy. As rationality seeped their skulls, they realized that homosexuality is NOT a mental disorder, but just a natural yet not-so-common sexual orientation. That was a milestone, and the International Classification of Diseases was just that much more about ‘diseases’ thereon. In order to commemorate this day, the Fondation Émergence declared May 17th as International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDHoBiT) in 2005.
For an individual who is considered ‘abnormal’ on a daily basis, IDHoBiT is a little bit more than just a theme-oriented awareness fest. Every individual associated with this event is an activist fighting for basic human rights, which most of us fart rainbows on. For those who are not aware, the LGBT community struggles hard to make their place. (If you aren’t aware of this, you’re in the wrong color spectrum.)
Even the United Nations – an organization, one of whose principles is to protect human rights – did not step up for them until 2011.
The IDHoBiT works towards ending discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, by making people understand and accept sexual diversity. It does not ask for sympathy, but for basic humanitarianism.
The Theme This Year: Mental Health and Well-Being
Every year activists from around the world collectively choose an issue with respect to the minority community that they feel requires the awareness and attention of the ‘straight’ masses. This year, IDHoBiT focuses on the mental health and well-being of the LGBT community.
The mental health and well-being of the LGBT community are largely affected by the psychological definitions that have shaped the society. In the 20th century, atrocious ‘treatment’ methods like shock therapy, sterilization, and even hormone treatments were used to correct this condition. That is what humans do: what you like is natural, what you don’t is alien and needs elimination.
Although the labels have been peeled off, and names and statuses changed, the scars remain. The social chauvinism has not left the LGBT community at peace.
It is disturbing to note that even today many countries have a mandated mental health diagnosis for transgender individuals in order to gain legal gender recognition. This is true: they test your brain in all sorts of crafty ways to determine that the transgender status is permanent and real. While some form of diagnosis remains necessary to access health care, but to keep this diagnosis within mental health categories has not helped in the well-being of the LGBT, and has only increased the social inferiority.
IDAHoBiT in India
India has a special treatment for its lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender(the so-called recognized third sex). They have named it: 377. Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code criminalizes such citizens and their choices, yet their spirits to fight and help people overcome their hatred disgust phobia hasn’t died.
The Humsafar Trust, based in Mumbai is campaigning against the stigmatization of sexual and gender differences as mental illness, all throughout May.
The campaign called ‘Queers Against Quacks’ is supported by the Indian Psychiatric Society (IPS) – a union which augments the effectiveness of the drive.
Joining them in Hyderabad is the local LGBT group, promoting the acceptance of the community, and the GAURAV (Greater Action for Unity Rights Advocacy and Visibility), running online campaigns supporting the cause.
Also, for those who wish to contribute to the cause, all your support is just a click away
You can follow the link above, and/ or can also follow Twitter conversations with #IDAHOBIT2016
Defining rules and regulations for others is not our job, it is suggested that we mind our own business and let the others live in peace. Diversity is the rule of nature, be it in flora, fauna, or even sexual orientation.
To know a little more about societal intolerance towards the females of our society, a gender that forms 50% of our population read
Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.