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“Just as two people look different, two people think different, two people love differently. And it is time we recognise that.”
21-year-old Anjana Hareesh, who identified herself as a bi-sexual person, hanged herself to death on 12 May in Goa. Just few days before she took her life, Anjana, a student from Kerala, alleged that her family abused her physically, forced her to undergo ‘conversion therapy’ to cure her bisexuality.
For members of the LGBTQI community, like Equal Rights activist Harish Iyer, the death of Anjana is a “nasty reminder” of the phobias that exist in society.
Speaking to The Quint, Iyer calls Anjana a “victim of bi-phobia.”
“Families are supposed to support their children and are supposed to make them stay safe. But what if your own family turns antagonistic? What if the same family that is supposed to support you, turns violent against you? And violent against you to such an extent that you take your life?”Harish Iyer, Equal Rights Activist
‘What Are You Trying To Convert?’
Iyer asserted that sexuality is not an aberration but simply a variation and that it was time we made peace with the fact that “different people love differently.” And to those who believe in ‘conversion therapy,’ Iyer says that it is important for people to “convert themselves.”
“Sexuality is just a variation and is not an aberration. So what are you trying to convert? It is important that you convert yourself – which being unknowledgeable about sexuality to come to a path of knowledge and wisdom where you understand that two people who love differently are not people who are variants or deviants or anything of that sort. They just love differently.”Harish Iyer, Equal Rights Activist
‘There Can Be Families Beyond Families’
To be someone who is not cis-gender and not heterosexual, is normal, Iyer told The Quint, adding that the ‘Q’ in LGBTQI stands for those who are ‘Queer and Questioning.’
“Even if you are in the state where you are questioning your sexuality the ‘Q’ in LGBTQI stands for‘Queer and Questioning’. It is alright. Understand that you can reach out to people. You will find people in the queer community who will be willing to speak to you. People with non-supporting families understand that there are families beyond families.”Harish Iyer
He added that he wants people to understand that they have the “choice of having a family of their choice.”
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