The teenage years are challenging and full of trials. But being transgender, bisexual, gay, or lesbian makes it worse. Not only is it tougher to find a partner, but in some places, it can be dangerous. This is what is happening in India, where LGQBT teenagers are bullied and face physical violence.
The world has come a long way in the fight against discrimination, but the march towards inclusivity requires more effort. Here are the challenges LGQBT teenagers face in India and around the world.
Teenagers who identify as LGQBT are the target of violent attacks in India. The number of attacks has increased in the past few years. Women, in particular, face violent attacks from religious fanatics and conservative members of society.
No defined law allows gay and lesbian teenagers to look forward to parenting. Adoption agencies and parents who give up their children for adoption do not want their children to be brought up by a gay couple. This means teenagers are unlikely to start a family when they become adults.
Gay Conversion Therapy
Teenagers are considered children who cannot be trusted to choose what they want. When parents discover that their children are gay, many enroll them in gay conversion therapy sessions. The therapy sessions involve extreme psychological trauma that may lead to depression and even suicide. Although the law has now banned such practices, they are still practiced secretly.
People in their late teens find it difficult to enter the job market if they identify as LGQBT. Some have been forced to hide their identity to get a job at a certain company. Similarly, HR managers and hiring firms have been accused of discriminating against people who identify as transgender. Rejection from the working environment impoverishes teenagers and puts them at a disadvantage when compared with their peers.
Even those who do find jobs are at risk of being fired at any time. Sexual orientation is one of the excuses commonly used to remove somebody from his job, regardless of whether they have been performing exemplary. Despite numerous government and activist groups’ efforts to educate managers, many managers still don’t have the right skills to handle LGQBT teenagers and adults. While they may not be fired, LGQBT teens may face discrimination meant to push them out of the job market.
The late teenage years are the time when people start living on their own. They leave their parents’ premises and start searching for a place to stay. This is where problems start. Many homeowners and residential managers are reluctant to rent their premises to a person identifying with the LGQBT lifestyle. The reluctance comes from the belief that they will scare other residents away.
As a result, when LGBTQ teenagers go to rent an apartment, they may not get it. Same-sex couples have also been thrown out of their residence because their neighbors were comfortable with their sexual orientation. In many cases, all they were doing was cutting the finest meat using their new grill. Unfortunately, the law does not protect them from discrimination and other forms of bullying.
Public Accommodations, Schools, and Bathrooms
There is a raging fight for the use of our public school bathrooms. Schools have refused to integrate the accommodation and washrooms to be ideal for people who identify as transgender, gay, and lesbian. This is a complex issue because the public has mixed reviews on how facilities, services, and goods can be safe for everybody.
For transgender teenagers in schools, this means that they can’t comfortably use bathrooms. Schools are using birth certificates to identify the gender of a child, making it difficult for gay people to be comfortable in school and when using public toilets.
Although a lot has been achieved in the campaign to provide equal health care to everybody, LGQBT teenagers don’t get the proper attention from doctors and physicians. Furthermore, some health insurance companies have made it difficult for these individuals to access the right Healthcare.
Part of the reason why insurance companies are doing this is that LGQBT youth have a higher risk of suffering from mental health issues and substance abuse. Insurance companies think they will lose more money if they insure LGQBT teenagers. Consequently, LGQBT teenagers are forced to abandon several entertainment forms, including the occasional classic smoking experience.
The discrimination of LGQBT teenagers extends to the judicial system. Gay and lesbian individuals face higher rates of abuse in the courts, prisons, and correction facilities. They are often viewed with suspicion by other inmates and may endure years of abuse.
Many have ended up in solitary confinement to protect them from other inmates. Research shows there are more LGQBT individuals in prison than outside of it. This indicates that LGQBT teenagers are likely to go to prison because of their sexual orientation.
Happenings in the last few years have shown that the courts may not protect civil rights. While judicial systems and legislatures have passed laws that have improved the environment for LGQBT teenagers, some battles will have to be fought differently. That is because there’s been an increase in emotional harm and mental, physical, and sexual discrimination.
For instance, 4 in 10 homeless youth are LGQBT individuals. That’s because many of them have been rejected by their families for their sexual orientation. Acceptance in society is the best way to create the right environment for the LGQBT community. There need to be public awareness campaigns and the inclusion of religious leaders in the fight against discrimination.
Bottom Line The march towards equality is slow, long, and discouraging. Many battles have been lost, but some have also been won. Hopefully, LGQBT teenagers will grow up in an environment that is accommodating and supportive.