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Shubhangini Shaktawat
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The Cruel Practice of Conversion Therapy
In the typically unfair and unjust world that we live in, the society is just another stepping stone making it far difficult for people to survive; terrorism, global warming, casteism, xenophobia, homophobia, society issues and what not? One of the major problems our coming generations will have to face is homophobia. It is prejudice against gay people or hate for them. Our society has judged all gay people and almost everyone belonging to the LGBTQIA+ community. It never accepts such people and that is why they have this thing called ‘conversion therapy.’ It is a cruel practice used to try to change the sexual orientation from homosexual or bisexual to heterosexual through psychological, spiritual or even physical means. A number of psychiatric and medical associations and organizations have opposed the idea of conversion therapy as it proves to be emotionally and psychologically harmful without any guaranteed positive results. Attempts to change one’s sexual orientation are not only unethical and morally incorrect, but also give out the wrong idea into the society. People out there in the society justify this therapy like it were a medical success and absolutely explanatory. Various religious reasons have been given to justify it, although, unsuccessful.
Earlier, homosexuality was thought of as a mental disorder and it was criminalized in 1861 in India during the colonial era, which changed in 2018 after it was decriminalized and various psychiatric associations and organizations confirmed that it was not a mental disorder. Even after Article 377 was removed and consensual homosexual activities between adults were legalized, India still remains to be as outdated and stereotypical as before. Prejudice and backlash against the LGBTQIA+ community remain to prevail in the society. It is why this pathetic idea of conversion therapy remains to exist in the heads of narrow minded people all over India. It has ruined the emotional health of millions of people across the world and remains to do the same in India as well. It has taken lives of people too by giving birth to a number of suicidal thoughts in the minds of people. After Anjana Hareesh, a 21 year old committed suicide as her family in Kerala forcibly made her undergo conversion therapy and gave her strong medical doses to ‘cure’ her, it caused a large uproar all over India, although, it was not enough for the cruel conversion therapy to be declared illegal and unethical officially. Let us make a difference and bring justice to all those who have lost their lives and self respect by raising a voice against it. It must be banned and criminalized.
An ally and supporter,
Shubhangini Shaktawat