mid-day editorial: Queer and nothing to cure

This evening, the city’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community will hold a rally to call out doctors and all allied medical professionals on their claims of ‘curing’ homosexuality through different therapies. Aptly titled Queers against Quacks, the rally will be held at Azad Maidan.

First of all, homosexuality is not a disease, so the thinking that it needs any kind of cure is mistaken and, in fact, ridiculous. By the very term, cure, you put gay persons into the ‘sick’ persons bracket. It is doubly shocking that men and women of science choose to do so.

Years ago, India’s most well known gay activist, Ashok Row Kavi, had told this newspaper that it is doctors who have the most skewed version of homosexuality. Kavi claimed that doctors had asked him, in all seriousness, if there were any injections to convert homosexuality into heterosexuality.

Many doctors confirmed that they did try to turn gay persons away from their orientation and try to make them ‘normal’. Their words itself are problematic, as they imply that being gay is abnormal, if not a sickness.

There are horrific stories from across the nation of gay persons being completely humiliated. They are forced to undergo shock therapy or aversion therapy. It is usually the parents who first force their children to undergo these therapies. And instead of turning them away, doctors actually welcome them. Many doctors even cite cures on their website, luring potential ‘patients’ to their clinic.

There are not just doctors but an entire group of people who believe gay people can — and worse, need to — be cured by counsellors, teachers, lawyers and allied medical professionals.

Years after they are put through therapy, many gay persons continue carry to carry the scars, their despairing parents have given up, and doctors diagnose that they cannot be cured.

To categorise homosexuality into a disease that needs a cure is reprehensible and criminal too. The Indian Medical Association (IMA) needs to step in and crack down on these doctors. This paper stands up for #nothing2cure.

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