Chennai, India reports 16 LGBT suicides in 18 months

LGBT groups in the South East Indian city say that the shocking statistics highlight the negative affects of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code.

Chennai Dost, a community for LGBT in Chennai, have reported that 16 of their members have committed suicide within the last year and a half.

Founder of Channai Dost, Vikranth Prasanna, reports that the latest suicide was a lesbian couple in the district of Salem.

The LGBT group also reports that those taking their own lives were between the ages of 18 and 30. They blame a a lack of social acceptance, harassment and rejection by parents. Prasanna also highlights the fact that many LGBT are cheated out of money by straight or bisexual people.

Chiefly to blame for Prasanna is India’s colonial era law against homosexuality, Section 377. “Suicides among the LGBT community has been increasing and this alarming trend is visible ever since the 2013 Supreme Court verdict on Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) which has criminalised same gender sex,” says Prasanna.

Prasanna also highlighted the portrayal of homosexuals and transgenders in the media as having a negative effect. “Even cinema continues to portray the LGBT in an insensitive manner, ridiculing gays with phrases like avana nee, which hurt the community members even further. You also have many gays or lesbians who have been cheated by straight or bi-sexual people for money,” he said.

At a recent event aimed at offering counselling for LGBT in the city, campaigners and activists also highlighted the fact that around 60-70 per cent of the LGBT community in the city are on some form of anti-depressant or anti-anxiety drugs.

They also highlighted the fact that the situation is even worse in semi-urban areas of Tamil Nadu, where awareness of LGBT issues is very low.

by Fridae Editor
Source – Fridae