Advocating and Understanding LGBT(QAI+) Mental Health
LGBT(QAI+) is an umbrella term used for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender )Queer, Asexual, Intersex) , “+” stands for people who do not fit under any of these categories but recognize themselves as not being straight or heterosexual. The Rainbow Community has faced harassment, threats, and bullying, prejudice, not only from people around but also from their own family members. The Psychoanalytic school of psychology suggests that children have a sense of sexual identity as early as in the Phallic Stage( usually a male would dress up like father and girl like female but the child being a male by birth and having an orientation of being a female will showcase feminine behaviors and vice versa.). The LGBT(QAI+) community has faced intense discrimination over the years which has taken a toll on their mental health and psychosocial well-being, forcing these individuals to fall for a psychological condition as people stigmatize “not being straight” as having a mental disorder. People still debate on the fact that being Gay or Bisexual or having any other orientation apart from being “straight”, however homosexuality was removed as a disorder from DSM-2. Every individual has their own “coming out” story and experiences. “Coming out” does not only apply to them being vocal about their sexual orientation with their family and friends but also their own struggles for the sense of self-awareness about their sexual orientation. The prevalent social stigma, prejudice, and discrimination in society apprehend them to stay in a cocoon and not come out failing to realize that it is an essential step. Researches have implicated that people belonging to LGBT(QAI+) reported an excessive incidence rate of mental disorders than heterosexuals is independent of homosexuality as being a mental disorder. Theories have postulated that LGBT(QAI+) individuals have a greater probability of impoverished psychological hygiene. Most common conditions include Post-traumatic stress disorder, Depression, Anxiety disorders, substance use, and abuse, etc. Moreover, Gender Dysphoria is the most common psychological condition wherein the person’s sense of gender identity does not match the sex they are born with. Individuals who seek help for psychotherapy do not have issues as most people do like toxic relationships, difficulties in work-life balance. etc. The primary focus lies on their coming out and being aware of their sexual orientation. It is essential to assess the problems the rainbow community has faced over the years so that we can normalize the atmosphere around and can generate acceptance in our society. The essential step for acceptance of the Rainbow Community in a Country like India started in 2018 when section 377 was scrapped from the law. Section 377 considered same-sex activities as “against the laws” prohibiting the rainbow community to have free choices. After, 377 was scrapped Indians all around the world celebrated by conducting “pride parades” which is an event conducted by LGBT(QAI+) commemorating the social and self-acceptance, the sense of belongingness in the community, and destigmatizing “not being straight” as a mental condition. Some paved their way out to advocate the mental health of the LGBT(QAI+) community, to name a few ;
Manvendra Singh Govil is an activist for the rainbow community and heads a foundation called “Lakshya Foundation” which seeks to create awareness about homosexuality and AIDS. He faced a lot of discrimination as he was the first “Openly Gay Royal” of the world and more specifically India who was disowned by his family at a very young age. Currently, he is a proud gay activist and with the help of his foundation, he can generate a stand about homosexuality all around the world.
Sushant Divgikar is a model, actor, singer, and Drag Queen (Rani Kohinoor) from India who represented India in MR. Gay World in 2014 and eventually won the title making him the first-ever Indian to do so. Digital serves as the director for MR. The gay world for the South Asian Countries. He regularly performs as a Drag Artist (A drag queen is a person, usually male, who uses drag clothing and makeup to imitate and often exaggerate female gender signifiers and gender roles for entertainment purposes. ) in Kitty Su Club by Lalit Group of Hotels.
These are only a handful of people who came a long way fighting for the right and to make a stand in the community. Mental Health awareness about the LGBT community is an essential step and every individual can make an effort to destigmatize homosexuality by just nurturing those around you, being a support to the people around. It is tentative to say but every school should include a curriculum that is dedicated to LGBT issues and mental health so that individuals belonging to this community can “come out” easily. The lack of training and awareness affects mental health practitioners to underrate the incidence rates of emerging psychological disorders in the LGBT community.