Queering the pitch
Queering the pitch
a need for mainstreaming LGBTQ issues in professional social work education and practice in India
LGBTIQ movement/s in India are increasingly visible and vibrant: the landmark judgment decriminalizing ‘homosexuality’ provided a fresh impetus for collectivisation. Services such as LGBTI friendly health interventions and anti-discrimination interventions as well as legal aid are also gaining momentum. However, in December 2013, the Supreme Court of India reinstated Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code criminalising same sex relationships. This is a significant blow to LGBTQ human rights campaigns. The mental health concerns of most LGBTIQ people have received marginal attention. Many mental health professionals (MHPs) in India continue to see homosexuality as an abnormality. There has not been any concerted dialogue or efforts to develop any national or local position on this issue among professional bodies of psychologists, social workers/counsellors or psychiatrists in the country. In the absence of any such dialogue, there is silence and invisibility surrounding the issues of sexual minorities among MHPs in India. The chapter seeks to theoretically explore the complex relationships between MHPs training, curriculum and attitudes towards homosexuality and its impact on nature of psychosocial services and interventions available for queer persons. The chapter also describes the range and scope for social work, rights-based interventions with queer persons and groups in India.
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