UNAIDS Nepal says persons who discriminate against LGBTI and Questioning people are actually the ones with a disorder and not LGBTI
Kathmandu (Pahichan) May 18 – UNAIDS Country Director to Nepal and Bhutan, Dr Ruben F del Prado, in his key-note address to the Blue Diamond Society and Cruiseaids Nepal celebration of the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, in Rastriya Naach Ghar Jamal, highlighted an often over-looked fact that a “phobia” is a type of anxiety disorder, defined as a persistent fear of an object or situation that the affected person will go to great lengths to avoid, typically disproportional to the actual danger posed. If the feared object or situation cannot be avoided entirely, the affected person will endure it with marked distress and significant interference in social or occupational activities.
This means, he said, that persons who discriminate against Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender, Inter-sex and Questioning people are actually the ones with a disorder and not homosexuals, trans people and bisexuals. Because on this day, May 17 in 1990, WHO removed homosexuality from the International Classification of Diseases.
According to his definition, discrimination is a culmination of silence, ignorance, fear and prejudice. He continued, by saying that “to be against homophobia, transphobia and biphobia is not enough. It is important to do something. First: Don’t be silent! In Nepal there is no silence. After lots of hard work, the Constitution of Nepal is the first constitution in Asia that provides rights and protection to LGBTI people. With this, the Government has the duty to uphold this constitutional human rights commitment.
Don’t be silent if these rights are not being respected and enforced. Second: Inform people about the facts of homosexuality, being transgender, and bi-sexuality. Don’t allow parents, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters, teachers, friends, colleagues, politicians, the media and religious leaders to be ignorant. Third: Prove that there is no reason to fear LGBTI people. Demonstrate that society is a rainbow of many shapes and colours, including different sexual orientations and gender identities.
Participate and be active in activities beyond HIV and being LGBTI, such as helping in the rebuilding of Nepal after the earthquake; keeping the environment clean; mentoring and educating young people.” “Actually,” he said, “in many ways the younger generation is much more accepting than their elders. I see a positive trajectory as young people grow up with variations in sexual orientation and gender identities around them being the norm.”
He reiterated, as he did in previous years, that he hopes a day will come soon that this International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia will no longer be necessary, and that every day of the year will be a day of celebration of sexual and gender diversities.