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How Does Society Perceive The LGBTQ+ Community And How Can We Change It?

In this article, I shall deal with the situation of the LGBT+ community and the improvements made for the community over time and the advancements, changes and progress the outer society has come across. Then, I will be discussing their legal rights as of now and advancements in law. I shall also deal with the problems faced by the community in their day-to-day lives. I shall not discuss their origin, exposure or timeline of discovery. Neither will I be discussing their awareness moments,sSteps taken for freedom et cetera.

Why Is It Important To Be Aware Of The LGBTQ+ Community?

After understanding the criticism and discrimination faced by the community, I honestly think that if we ignore their concerns, it will become a huge threat to future generations. Many people who belong to the community are either unaware of their sexuality or afraid to reveal it because of the stereotypical societal consequences. If their sexual activities are considered conventional and in turn, the conventional reproductive sexual activity is deemed unconventional, it would result in the apparent majority feeling discriminated.

There is a day-to-day criticism that a member of the LGBT+ community faces. These members include children facing anxiety, depression and the feeling of being different or misattributed from the accepted societal attributes. Making people, especially our parents, aware that sexuality is by birth and not a choice that can be affected by one’s surroundings, peer group or religious motives will solve many problems that the community faces.

Societal Views On The LGBTQ+ Community

Society often tends to think that people from the LGBT+ community choose their sexual orientation by choice and are influenced by their surroundings. They reject their children and family members belonging to the community and often blame the western culture for influencing their traditions. They argue that this practice is against nature and the conventional biological procedure.

Over the past few decades, the LGBT+ community has received widespread recognition from society as well as by our Constitution. Countries are decriminalising same-sex relationships.

They also believe that with certain measures such as conversion therapy, religious practices and forced marriages, one can be converted to the the accepted and expected sexual orientation. While conversing with people about why they do not support the LGBT+ community, a lot of them stated that they fear them. Their image about the community is that they represent a society with an uncontrollable sexual urge and a western mind.

It is challenging for them to understand the fact that such sexual orientations are as normal as any other sexual orientation. I would also like to mention that since homosexual behaviour is observed in animals such as macaques, fruit flies, domestic sheep and especially apes including bonobos, whom we’ve evolved from, it makes homosexuality natural for us as well. We have an additional emotional commitment, unlike many of these animals. This makes us more viable to homosexuality.

Legal And Economic Perspective

Over the past few decades, the LGBT+ community has received widespread recognition from society as well as by our Constitution. Countries are decriminalising same-sex relationships. India decriminalised homosexuality in September 2018. I observed that the SRM entrance exam provided a third gender option i.e. transgender, in addition to female and male. Many more such recognitions are coming to light.

There are issues yet to be regarded as crucial, such as discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community, transgender rights, recognition in educational institutes, political and intersex rights et cetera. One important drawback that needs immediate attention is the unavailability of job opportunities to individuals of the community due to discrimination. Skill is what is required to work, and discriminating the community on the basis of their sexual orientation must also be regarded as sexual discrimination.

In their defence, people who do not support the LGBT+ community argue that since ultimately we would need the egg from a woman and the sperm of a man to fertilise an egg, this process needs to be accepted by all as it would hamper reproduction and the population growth of our society, consequently decreasing the world economy.

Representational image.

Firstly, we need measures to control our population since there is an increase in the rate of unemployment. Moreover, many gay couples adopt children or provide financial support to orphans. This will result in orphans being equally educated as the rest, thus increasing the  world economy.

What Changes can We Observe Shortly?

Many people are coming out openly about their sexual orientation. Protests and other attempts to spread awareness about homosexuality as a common practice will decrease the discrimination faced by the LGBT+ community. I’ve observed that legally, more countries are on the verge of decriminalising sexuality-related rights for the LGBT+ community due to an increase in awareness as well as implementation of comprehensive sexual education.

This might consequently also lead to an internal war between a part of society and the government. However, legalising homosexuality will result in more job opportunities within these communities. This will increase the adoption of orphans, thus decreasing the unemployment rate in a country. We have already started to observe many social media influencers who share their experiences, the criticism they’ve faced and additionally, how we can address these concerns. Their presence is being acknowledged and their behaviour normalised. The young generation has especially contributed towards the understanding and acceptance of these notions among society.

People who are unaware of their sexual orientation must be well informed about gender identity. We can improve the situation for the LGBT+ community by initiating a curriculum that talks about gender identity and sex education. Respecting the community and empowering them to fight for their freedom is necessary for the welfare of a united society.

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Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

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As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

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Find out more about her campaign here.

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