Indian Psychiatric Society takes a stance – Homosexuality is not a psychiatric disorder

For years, this has been a matter of discussion and argument whether homosexuality is a disease, which can be treated with medicine and therapy. Till date, there are people claiming to provide anti-gay therapies. Needless to say, such practices are not only fraudulent in nature, but also harm the physical and psychological health of the person concerned to unimaginable extent.

In Indian culture, not only every single kid is brought up assuming he or she will automatically be a heterosexual person, but their eventual realisation of being a homosexual is treated as some sort of abomination.

There are exceptions of course, but this is the general picture which no one can deny. Which is nothing but a sexual preference is treated by a majority over here like a disorder, and then again thought to be cured of it by flipping a switch in the mind.

switch

Source: Pink News

This issue is the topic of the hour, as a five member bench of the Supreme Court of India is currently hearing for and against Section 377 – the law that forbids “unnatural sexual relationships” between two individuals.

After Delhi Court’s decision on bringing the law down was overturned by the Supreme Court in 2013, this is the first ray of sunshine for this cause in a really long time.

Read about the court case and the timeline of events that leaded up to this hearing: The Jury is out – what will the Supreme Court of India decide on Section 377?

However, the ignorance, misconceptions and taboos are so deeply embedded in the minds of the people, that even if SC passes the judgement in favour of the LGBTQ community, who knows how long it will take for the common people to understand, accept and acknowledge the concept of gender, sexuality and their diversities?

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Source: Financial Express

In the light of these discussions, a major institute body has done their part in the struggle, and dare we say it is a very quintessential one.

The Indian Psychiatric Society finally took an official stance for the cause on July 2, 2018, and declared in a position statement released on their website that they stand by the LGBTQ community.

“Homosexuality is not a psychiatric disorder” – declare Indian Psychiatric Society in bold, black letters.

Other similar organizations like American Psychiatric Association and WHO had already done this good deed back in 1973 and 1992 respectively. Given how long violence and discrimination against the LGBTQ community has been going on all around, this does come a bit late from their Indian counterpart.

But, better late than never…

They have also gone on to say that sexual orientation cannot and should not be tried to alter by any means, and the only result of such attempts will be a “stigmatization of the person”.

The document is duly signed by the President of IPS Dr Ajit V Bhide and General Secretary Dr Vinay Kumar. The declaration ends with saying that they are in support of decriminalising homosexual acts, which is certainly a not-so-subtle nod at the on-going hearing.

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Source: Indian Psychiatric Society

To be very honest, this will not change things overnight. Just because there is a signed document by experts, it will not change the minds of people who have believed otherwise for decades. But it is still baby steps towards the big picture, and right now, everyone can do with such tiny slivers of hope.

 

 

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