“There’s nothing wrong with you. There’s a lot wrong with the world you live in.”
Queer individuals throughout the world face rampant violence, homophobia, and ostracism on a daily basis. To combat this bigotry, it becomes necessary to campaign and raise awareness about institutional homophobia and discriminatory practices pervading our societies The International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia & Transphobia (IDAHOBIT), observed on 17th May, is one such day that seeks to shed light on the daily struggles of queer folks. IDAHOBIT seeks to commemorate the 1992 anniversary of the World Health Organization’s declassification of homosexuality as a mental health disorder or a disease. With the rising cases of mental health issues among LGBTQIA+ individuals, this year’s campaign of IDAHOBIT aims to focus on aspects of mental health and well-being.
One of India’s pioneering LGBTQ+ organizations, The Humsafar Trust, seeks to mark its presence on 17th May by participating in IDAHOBIT with its Queers Against Quacks 2.0 Campaign. The populist opinion in India seems to regard any form of queer identity or desire as an aberration, which is further exacerbated by several psychiatrists, religious leaders, and con-men claiming to cure homosexuality. Further, archaic and life-threatening measures like electroshock therapy continue to be used for managing homosexual and transgender expressions among people.
In light of the consistent misuse of psychiatric services against LGBTQ+ persons, especially in India, the Humsafar Trust seeks to call attention to the violence LGBTQ+ persons face in psychiatric settings. The campaign, which is titled Queers Against Quacks 2.0, will address this issue while simultaneously highlighting the autonomy of the queer body to choose and desire for itself.
The campaign proposes a series of activities up to 17th May 2022 to lend voice to the struggles LGBTQ+ persons face at the hands of mental health professionals. This list offers the many of the proposals for the campaign:
• Gather information and public reporting of such harmful practices on their website (https://humsafar.org/idahobit-2022/)
• Invite members of the community and LGBT allies to share their own stories on social media. They could also participate by posting their photos or a video (on Facebook or Twitter), holding a placard with the hashtag—#nothingtobecured @humsafartrust
• Disseminate a resource list of LGBTQ+ friendly mental health professionals and psychiatrists within the community network.
• Publish the letters from World Psychiatry Association and Indian Psychiatric Society to build the support network of the professionals.
• Highlight mental health professionals who are currently offering cures to homosexuality in contravention of the WHO statement.
• Draft a policy recommendation document related to conversion therapy and submit it to Indian Medical Association.
Join The Humsafar Trust on 17th May in this endeavor!!! To learn more, hop on to the official website page for the campaign https://humsafar.org/idahobit-2022/.