LGBT misconception leads to discrimination
T he two days media advocacy workshop on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and questioning (LGBTIQ) was held by Lhak-Sam on 24 and 25 October 2016 in Paro.
The common misconception regarding LGBT causes stigma and social discrimination. Pema Dorji, member of LGBTIQ community, said that people have the misconception that sexual orientation and gender identity is a life style that is being chosen by them, he said, it can be changed.
He also said that in reality it is not their choice but is something that came to them naturally.
Another misconception is that people think calling LGBT individual with degrading name as nobody knows their real name. Real name was completely forgotten as people like to call them with degrading names.
Someone who identifies themselves as LGBT can make the other one of them just being with. “In such misconstruction people should know that being LGBT is not a dis- ease,” Pema said, adding that can be transferred or spread to all the nearby people.
LGBT individuals are judges as mentally ill, abnormal and different. “When I went to vegetable market, people looked at me and laughs,” said Ugyen, a member of LGBTIQ community. He shares her life experience as transwomen.
Every LGBT individual has undergone many stigma and social discrimination. They didn’t have any support, including their families, according to them. “We have to be filled with fear on seeing people as they were afraid to be called by degrading names.”
They have their own dreams and aspirations like any other human beings. The organizer said, family and relatives should show the support and help to them in order to get equal rights.
People also live with the misconception that an individual choose to become LGBT to gain attention.
The Executive Director of Lhak-sam, Wangda Dorji said, “I have two daughters and two sons and I can ever tell if one of them turns out to be LGBT.” He said if they do he will understand them.
The two day course saw the participants over 40 from different sector include media, film industry and Lhak-Sam among other.
Lhak-Sam is the first and only network of HIV positive people formed in 2010.
LGBTIQ community was formed in 2014 and individual existed long time before but was visible only in 2013. Informally a small group was formed in 2014 supported by Lhak-Sam, NACP and UN partners.