Gender and sexuality in India are issues that are pushed deep into the closet. Attempts to raise questions or initiate an open conversation are often met with harsh responses, or stoic silence.
The stigma and taboos against anything that falls outside the scope of what is seen as ‘normal’ is so immense that those who don’t identify within the gender and sexuality binary are subjected to severe discrimination, even physical and sexual abuse.
While there are no official numbers that can give an idea about violence against the LGBT+ community, there have been different case studies which paint a grim picture, where the victim is penalised instead of the perpetrator.
This fear is a major reason why many cases of violence against the LGBT+ community go unreported.
Another reason is the insensitivity and ignorance they are treated with while seeking basic services like education or healthcare.
Instead of addressing their needs, medical healthcare professionals offer ‘cures‘ to homosexuality, which can only be described as brutal torture in the form of electric shocks followed by drugging them with medication normally prescribed for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
What’s most disturbing is that this prejudice is taught to students in medical schools. These excerpts are from medical textbooks which are used in colleges throughout India, including some of the best institutions in the country. The way they define gender and sexuality is proof of the tactlessness with which these matters are approached and aims to inculcate a mindset of discrimination in the future doctors and healthcare professionals of the country.
If those who are meant to provide us care are taught that homosexuality is a disease and transgenders are sexual deviants with a mental illness, what else do we expect from them other than discrimination and ill-treatment?
School children are being taught with the same kind of ignorant and discriminatory mindset. Read: These 10 Excerpts From Indian Textbooks Are Seriously Terrifying