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Goa government seeks to ‘cure’ LGBT youth of their ‘affliction’. What a load of crap!

The Oxford English dictionary defines homosexuality as “sexual attraction to people of one’s own sex.” Heterosexuality, bisexuality, and homosexuality are the three main categories of sexual orientation. Till date, scientists haven’t been able to come to a conclusion as to why a person develops a particular sexual orientation, although some attribute it to the nature and nurture that a person comes in contact with. Nature – genetic and hormonal influences, and nurture – environmental and familial influences, either or both of which might factor into the cause of sexual orientation.

gay couple1

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

Some people – religious or otherwise – deem homosexuality as unnatural and condemn it vehemently. But scientifically speaking, homosexuality is just another natural and normal variation of human sexuality, just like heterosexuality. Sexual orientation is an innate quality and there is little or no choice of the individual in the matter – they don’t choose homosexuality, they just are.

gay couple1

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

People don’t question heterosexuality, the way they do homosexuality. Why is that? At the end of the day, they are just as human as any other person. All they seek is the right to be who they are freely and proudly, without having to hide themselves for fear of persecution. Can you believe that even in this day and age, being gay in our country is illegal? Even talking about sexuality as such is a taboo subject in our country, let alone come out of their proverbial closet as a proud gay person. That just seems like the stuff of dreams seeing the current political and social climate of our country.

A widespread wave of homophobia is prevalent in India, where most people, even so called ‘liberals,’ don’t dare speak up against it. Cops routinely harass suspected ‘gays.’ Even two friends of the same sex hanging out or roaming the streets is an unmentionable criminal offence! They are taken to task, or worse, harassed and abused physically and emotionally to rid them of homosexuality.

gay couple1

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

While the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) community in the US is fighting for marriage equality, we Indians haven’t even given our countrymen and women the freedom of expressing their identity openly. Agreed that homophobia and persecution of the LGBT community persists there too, but they have come a long way in giving them the freedom to be who they are and not hide behind the veil of ‘propriety’ to appease the conservatives.

matt bomer

Matt Bomer

Image source: Shutterstock

One of the main contributing factors of widespread acceptance of the LGBT community in mainstream society in the US is that many of its Hollywood celebrities and bigwigs in the media industry are openly gay and proud to be so. Just as we adore our Bollywood actors and celebrities, they too have a huge fan following and their every step is dogged by the relentless paparazzi and other media outlets. When Hollywood biggies like Neil Patrick Harris, Matt Bomer, Ellen De Generes, Ellen Page, Tim Gunn, Annie Leibovitz, Sir Ian McKellan, to name a few, came out of their proverbial closets or just been open and comfortable in their sexuality, people have admired them for their courage.

tim cook

Tim Cook

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

Just last year, Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, came out as gay, there was a huge wave of support extended to him. Being the CEO of a multinational company like Apple, and with him filling the shoes of his celebrated predecessor, Steve Jobs, it must have taken him so much courage to come out as gay. His open letter was touching and poignant.

While this is happening in one part of the globe, in our very own Goa, there are people like Ramesh Tawadkar, a minister in the Goa cabinet, who holds the Sports and Youth Affairs portfolio. The ‘esteemed’ minister, on Monday last, said that the government was apparently planning to open centers to ‘cure’ the LGBT youth of their ‘affliction,’ and make them ‘normal.’

Here are the gems that came forth out of his mouth:

“We will make them (LGBT youth) normal. We will have a centre for them. Like Alcoholic Anonymous centres, we will have centres. We will train them and give them medicines too.” He was speaking to reporters after the launch of the youth policy made by his government.

Did he stop there? Oh no, he didn’t. He continued to enlighten us about what his government’s intentions were.

“As in the case of other target groups such as juvenile offenders, drug afflicted youth, marginalized or migrant youth, geographically disadvantaged youth, a detailed survey would be carried out of the LGBT community so that their problems could be specifically addressed,” he said.

Wow! I don’t know whether to cry or hit him upside the head for his ignorance. Who told him that being queer, or gay, or lesbian is an ‘affliction’? How could he even compare the LGBT community with juvenile delinquents or junkies? Does he even know what ‘being a homosexual’ means? My God, the ignorance!

Our society and country as a whole has to raise their collective voices in support of the LGBT community getting its due recognition and freedom that is owed to a citizen of our country. It is high time that we as a people roused ourselves from our collective stupor and spoke out about the injustice done to our fellow countrymen and women.

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Article Name
Goa government seeks to 'cure' homosexuality
Homosexuality has been a thorn in the side of the so called 'mainstream' society, & given a chance they would go to any lengths to 'cure' this 'affliction'!
Chaitra Ramalingegowda

Chaitra Ramalingegowda

I fell in love with storytelling long before I knew what it was. Love well written stories, writing with passion, baking lip-smacking-finger-licking chocolate cakes, engaging movies, and home-cooked food. A true work-in-progress and a believer in the idiom 'all those who wander are not lost'. Twitter: @ChaitraRlg