The plight of LBT from health sector

Durga Thapa/Pahichan – Sexual and gender minorities are facing stigma and discrimination since long time. This community has been recognized by law but there is a lack of sufficient policy and law framework. As a result, this community is yet to receive social recognition and it is still very difficult to live in society.

Members of this community are facing discrimination and violence in the family, societal and national level. Transmen, bisexual and lesbian women are more marginalized among this group.

Being a girl, members of this community are projected as a weak creature and they are facing humiliation and harassment in the society. Such problem is extended from home to society and society to service providers. This community is also affected by the values and attitude of male-dominated society.

Members of this community are often reluctant to disclose their identity so they are facing a lot of health related problems. Due to social stigma, they always hesitant to go to health post for the treatment and other medical facilities.

The organizations working for the welfare of this community are unable to take up the issues due to the lack of funding. International organizations are investing their resources in other areas but there is very low investment in this sector. Mainly transgender male, bisexual and homosexual of early age are facing a lot of difficulties.

Rights activist Alen Bhandari said: “There is problem of uterus among transgender male.” These days most of the transmen are using binders and do not feel to put off before going to bed as a result many of them are developing breast problem. Bhandari said members of this community are always reluctant to go to hospital for the treatment.

Doctors and health works also do not have sufficient knowledge about this community. Similarly, even community members do not have sufficient knowledge and information about the sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Like transman, lesbian women are also facing a lot of problems. When they go for the treatment, first question the community members get about their marital status. So, they are always reluctant to disclose their identity. If they openly disclose their identity and behavior, the attitude towards patients got changed of doctors. Women are always treated as second class citizen in the society.

On the same connection, members of this community are suffering from various problems due to their gender identity and sexual orientation. In sum, lack of knowledge in the society, health workers and various social stigmas has been hampering the empowerment of this community.

Writer is human rights activist in BDS.