Social Discourse On LGBTQ+ Held In Dimapur - Eastern Mirror
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Dimapur, Nagaland

Social discourse on LGBTQ+ held in Dimapur

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By Henlly Phom Odyuo Updated: Mar 01, 2024 12:27 am
LGBTQ
The LQBTQ community and organisers after the conclave on voices of diversity held in Dimapur on Thursday.

DIMAPUR — With an aim to initiate conversations towards social acceptance, inclusion and employment opportunities for ‘lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer and many others (LGBTQ+) individuals through evidence-based dialogues, a conclave was held at Tourist Lodge in Dimapur on Thursday.

Organised by Story Centre, USA, in collaboration with BRIDGE, Prodigal’s Home and Guardian Angel Society supported by US Consulate General, Kolkata, witnessed a discourse on voices of diversity with a call on action for inclusion.

Panelist Dr. Hotoka Hesso, senior medical officer of ART Plus Centre at District Hospital Dimapur, lamented low attendance of the LQBTQ community at the hospital.

‘There are isolation ward where we can admit transgender but there is an issue as it may be considered a stigma. Also there arises the question of how acceptable it is when we admit them at isolation ward,’ he pointed out.

“We don’t treat gender, we treat the whole person. We provide equal treatment but we need to understand each other in a setup. With more sensitization, I believe the issue will come to an understanding,” he added.

Social activist, Anna Hairang Thou, advocated for acceptance of one’s choice and calling, saying that there won’t be change and our society won’t accept unless “we accept ourselves and situation”.

“Many people do not come forward because of the stigma associated. So they should be empowered to come forward and not judged based on their preferences or choices they make. Also, the high class people do not come forward in fear of losing their privileges,” she said while pointing out that there is intolerance towards this community because of the ignorance of the society.

Also speaking at the conclave, media coordinator of Dimapur Ao Youth Organisation, Imti Jamir Jamir, stated that acceptance from the family and society depends on the level of tolerance. Stressing on acceptance, he said it should start from the family.

“Level of acceptance starts from within that we are human and not based on gender; the level of tolerance from the society should be of human and not gender,” he underlined.

Other panelists of the conclave included Imti Aier, Hepatitis in-charge at District Hospital Dimapur; Gaon Bura of Murgipatti, Niba Kesiezie; and entrepreneur Imliben Lemtur.

The joint director of NSACS, Dr. Bernice Dzuvichu Thapru, in her opening remark, pointed out that “we discuss something that is with us, that we know is here, but we are worried to bring it together and discuss”.

“It is through discussion that we become more sensitive, more educated, accepted and understand each other’s problems, concerns, and work together,” she opined.

Voices of diversity

Lima, a transgender, recounted her growing years as a boy assigned at birth and how she was excommunicated by her father.

“I was born like this. I felt like a woman. I preferred hanging out with women over men and wanted to interact with women. Changing documentation about my gender identity was a big problem but I eventually could make the change,” she shared.

She said it becomes difficult to open up and make a living when the society doesn’t accept them.

“What we need is acceptance. In the educational aspect, it is rather easier at the school level but when one reaches college, it gets difficult. There are colleges which admit but there are many which don’t. Even to get admitted in the hospital is met with difficulty,’ she shared.

BRIDGE consultant Mahua Seth, who said her own son is a gay, encouraged the parents to accept their child’s preference, saying that self-acceptance is important.   

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By Henlly Phom Odyuo Updated: Mar 01, 2024 12:27:54 am
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