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Feels like a personal victory: LGBT community on conversion therapy listed as professional misconduct

It feels like a personal victory,” said 30-year-old Nishtha Nishant after reading about the National Medical Commission (NMC) move to professionalize conversion therapy under the Medical Council of India (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics) Regulations 2002. listed as misconduct. The NMC issued the notice following the direction of the Madras High Court. And people in the LGBT+ community are very happy with this decision.

“In the early days of my infection, my mother visited our family doctor and told him about my infection. Instead he blamed my mother. I was subjected to therapy, indoctrinated with a substance in my diet that took a toll on my physical and mental health. This move will save many queer youth in India,” Nishtha, an equal rights activist, elaborates.

Nishtha Nishant
Nishtha Nishant

“I have heard and read about the horrific experiences people have had on the internet. This is clearly sad. But now there is hope for a better tomorrow. Queer people have gone through a lot. Conversion therapy is a violation of our rights and is clearly inhumane. Now is the time for these institutions to devise some queer rules so that medical professionals also follow it and help eradicate many other stigmas associated with homosexuals and trans people,” shares 27-year-old Sooraj Namboodiri.

Suraj Namboodiri
Suraj Namboodiri

Mumbai-based psychiatrist Dr. Nirmala Rao admits that she receives many such requests from parents. “Parents request for a conversion therapy. We need to talk to them and educate them and it becomes a huge task. It is difficult for parents to accept that their child has a different orientation Parents often ask for these remedies because of fear and anxiety, so we need to allay those fears,” she elaborates.

While modern science may have held back from doing conversion therapy, there are many other ways to do this. Navel Nazareth, 26, a queer entrepreneur, recounts his personal experience.

navel nazareth
navel nazareth

He shares, “I remember being dragged into my church for counseling when I was young. The person who was conducting the sessions during my composition phase gave us a testimonial telling us that How he was living a sin as a gay man and was miraculously healed by the power of prayer and counseling allowing him to lead a normal life. Thought I was small, but those words lingered in my mind for a long time To the point that ‘being gay is a sin’ and by God’s mercy we can all be healed. This prompted me to question myself as I always considered myself a sinner because I was attracted to a specific gender that It was not considered normal in society. It took a lot of time to educate myself to come to a consensus with my sexuality and sexual orientation and how it is not wrong.”

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