LGBTI people ‘fail to cope with depression’

Kathmandu/May 26 – At least three gays killed themselves in the past year after failing to cope with the pressure of social stigma associated with their sexual orientation, according to the Blue Diamond Society.

The BDS revealed that lack of social acceptance and psycho-social counseling resulted in the deaths. “We fear that the number could be much higher as the death of LGBTI people goes unnoticed. These three people were within our network, whom we had been trying to provide counseling,” said Manisha Dhakal, executive director of the BDS.

One of them was from Dhading and another from Dharan. In their mid-thirties and having experienced “extreme sexual violence”, they had attempted suicide previously.

The third was over 40, who hailed from the far-western region. Unlike the first two, he had been married to a girl from his village for five years in his family’s bid to “straighten him up”.

As per Dhakal, herself a transgender woman, the pressure to cope in a society which has little tolerance for LGBTI is huge and the lack of laws to ensure the right to marry and have citizenship as a third gender add to their owes.

Psychiatrists say medical treatment can help them overcome depression. “Timely counseling can also heal their problems. They need special attention and acceptance,” said Dr Nishita Pathak.

In order to improve mental health of the LGBTI people, the community is celebrating this week for their ‘mental health and well-being’.

BDS President Pinky Gurung said sexual violence creates both physical and psychological pressure on the LGBTI people, especially the young ones.

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