Seminar on “Perspective of mental sciences on sexual minorities”, 17th August, Bangalore

Karnataka Sexual Minorities Forum and Sangama

invite you to the seminar on

Perspective of mental sciences on sexual minorities

on 17th August, 2009, Monday

from 2 PM to 6 PM

at the Indian Medical Association Hall, IMA Building, Alur Venkar Rao Road, Chamarajpet, Bangalore – 560018, Phone: 26703255 (Near Tippu Sultan palace, Between Bangalore Medical College and Minto Hospital)

Speakers include: Dr. Shekhar Sheshadri (NIMHANS), Dr. Ali Khwaja(Banjara Academy), BN Sharada (Parivarthan), Arvind Narrain(Alternative Law Forum) and Vinay Chandran (Swabhava Trust)

Despite professional bodies such as the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association and the World Health Organisation removing homosexuality from the list of mental illnesses almost thirty years ago; the myth that it is “abnormal”, a disease that needs to be cured or the product of maladjustment prevails.

These myths have fuelled a climate of injustice and many sexual minorities have been subjected to brutal violation of their human rights. In the name of “curing” them of something that is seen as unnatural, abnormal or perverse; they are subjected to different therapies, treatment, penances and magical healing processes. These experiences are traumatic, violent and a serious infringement of the fundamental rights of the person.

In the wake of the recent Delhi High Court judgement on Section 377 of the IPC, which decriminalises consensual sex between adults, many doctors, quacks, yoga teachers and faith-healers and others are claiming to “cure” people of their homosexuality. Some of them are part of the attempt to challenge the Delhi High Court judgement at the Supreme Court. Given this context it is of urgent importance to examine the basis of these claims and debunk the myths and challenge the misconceptions about issues of homosexuality and bring about a change in public opinion to prevent further human rights violations under the guise of changing the sexuality of a person.

This seminar aims to do this through a meeting with lay audience to dispel the misconceptions with  the help of mental health professionals, and counsellors who will deal with the ethical, medical, scientific and  human rights aspects of  dealing with issues of homosexuality.

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