The year 2018 saw a lot of atrocities being committed against members of the LGBTQ+ community. Some of these incidents need to be highlighted and read about before we go deeper into this topic. On May 29 (Delhi), a person wearing a transvestic by dressing as Goddess Kali was stabbed and murdered by a group of men. On May 26 (Hyderabad), a group of transgender women was attacked by a mob that believed they were a group of child kidnappers, a rumor that spread through a fake WhatsApp forward. This led to the death of one person, too. On May 28 (Mumbai), three trans women were beaten up brutally by MNS workers, who accused them of being involved in prostitution. Soon after, one of them committed suicide. On June 4 (Kerala), the High Court ordered a psychological and medical examination of a 25-year-old trans woman after her mother moved a petition saying her 'son' was brainwashed by a 'transgender gang', even when her child admitted that ‘he’ wanted to be identified as a woman and didn’t want to live with ‘her’ parents. On June 6, the Delhi police physically assaulted and verbally harassed a gay man. What was his crime? He was hugging a friend who happened to be a trans. On September 6, a girl from Odisha was tied to a tree and inhumanely beaten by some villagers after they found out that she was in a lesbian relationship.
Can you imagine how difficult it is for people to hide their identity and to deal with the atrocities thrown at them just because the society thinks they aren’t ‘normal’? Each day is a struggle for them. They mask their true selves just to be accepted by the society that will weigh them down, even when their sole intention is to be happy.
“Stop being homo!” you laughed,
When your friends hugged each other.
Filled with love for one another, they feared,
What would happen if they told the world, they were queer.
When you teased your friend for wearing pink,
A pair of earrings rusted in your brother’s trunk,
Because you made him think,
If revealing his true identity was a clunk.
Those from the LGBTQ+ community, face so much stigma, discrimination, social injustice, homophobia, and family disapproval, just because they choose to be who they really are. On top of that, if they suffer from mental illness, especially in a country like India, they suffer from double stigma.
Those from the queer community are three times more likely to face mental health concerns including depression, suicidal tendencies as compared to people identified to be straight. As it is, people find it difficult to reach out for help and the stigma drives them farther away. While I agree that everyone goes through different experiences, but the commonality of these experiences is the immoral treatment and the prejudice they receive.
Our words have a great impact on people’s lives. So why not use them to support people who are striving only to be accepted for who they are? Why are we caging them behind bars of social ‘normality', when the way they identify themselves, should not be decided by us? Who are we to decide what is “right” and “wrong”? Who are we to make them feel ashamed of who they are?
Let people have pride in what they are. Not our genders, but the character that we build is what that is important. Let people show their true colours, fearlessly.
We can’t blame society every time because society is you and me, and together, WE can bring a change.
Nothing should stop you from reaching out for help! Don't hesitate to take a step towards your mental well-being. If you’re looking at talking to a professional, book your Initial Consultation with us on https://www.themoodspace.com/freeconsultation or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Take a step towards bettering your mental wellbeing because you deserve it!
Written by - Mahika Solanki