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Woes of Indian LGBTQ teenagers

Teenagers belonging to the LGBTQ community face rejection, harassment, discrimination and multiple challenges which they may not be able to overcome without a support system

Woes of Indian LGBTQ teenagers

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  13 Jan 2023 1:45 PM GMT


For youths to feel accepted in their own community regardless of their sexual orientation or sexual identity, social support is as crucial as parental support

It can be very difficult to grow up as a child who is "identified" as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender in India. Finding a friend becomes difficult, and in some situations, it can even be hazardous. Teenagers, who identify themselves in the category of LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer), are bullied and physically abused in the country.

Though the long struggle against prejudice has made significant progress, the road to inclusivity is still far ahead. Although many Indian youths have come out in the open with their homosexual and queer identities within the boundaries of their homes and schools, they are struggling to express their gender choices in the outside world. They cannot express their sexuality openly.

It is mainly because of the lesser portrayal of LGBTQ teens in the media. It fosters an undesirable and erroneous sense of wrongdoing when the kids watch television or movie characters who are always 'straight'. In order to find out the difficulties faced by LGBTQ teenagers, we must make them feel loved and welcomed. We must also look closely into the issues they are facing.

LGBTQ teens face a lot of challenges in India.


Teenagers who identify themselves as LGBTQ, become the target of violent crimes. In recent years, the violence against them has increased frequently. It is mainly difficult for the 'females' as they frequently face abuse from religious extremists and conservative members of the society.

Lack of support at school

Though sad, the reality is that in schools and colleges, teachers, lecturers and professors do not support the LGBTQ students. They frequently advise them to keep their sexuality a secret. As a result, the students who follow the advice of the teachers, tend to ignore the LGBTQ students.

These students are frequently targeted by their peers. They are subjected to harassment and bullying.

Family Rejection

Statistics show that many families react negatively when the children come out as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. Some parents publicly criticise their children. When the teenagers come out of the closet and accept their sexuality, many parents view them as children who cannot be trusted to make their own decisions. Some parents even advise them to keep quiet or consider conversion treatment. Many parents enrol their homosexual children for therapy sessions. These therapy sessions have the potential to cause severe psychological stress, depression, and even suicide. Even though, such actions are prohibited by law, they are still being carried out in secret. This psychological stress can cause lifelong trauma, forcing the children to be hesitant to come out as LGBTQ, as they worry about their parents and fear that the community would reject them.


LGBTQ teens are exposed to the repulsive side of family rejection as some parents force them to leave their homes. As they are forced to move out, they lose their financial support as well. Many a time, these children are not given opportunities to gain education and find professions. As they are sometimes forced to move out of their parents' house, they have to start looking for lodging. Another problem arises here as many landlords and property managers are hesitant to let LGBTQ tenants. The hesitation stems from the idea that they may scare off other locals.

Thus, when LGBTQ youths apply for rented accommodation, they may not be successful. If their sexual orientation is known to their neighbours, same-sex couples may face the risk of being evicted. Unfortunately, they are not shielded from bullying and other sorts of discrimination by the law. In certain LGBT youths, it raises the spectre of depression, suicidal thoughts, and substance abuse. Others who engage in unprotected sex, may run the risk of testing HIV positive.

Public accommodation, schools, bathrooms

Who will get to use the restrooms at public schools? There has been a heated debate on this. The integration of facilities and restrooms that are suitable for those who identify themselves as transgender, gay or lesbian, has been rejected by schools. Because of the conflicting public opinions on how to make facilities, services, and products safe for everybody, this is a complicated subject.

This prevents transgender teenagers from using bathrooms in a comfortable manner. It is challenging for LGBT individuals to feel at ease in schools and public restrooms as birth certificates are used to determine a child's gender.

Unequal healthcare

Even though there has been significant progress in the fight for universal health care, doctors and medical professionals still do not pay enough attention to LGBTQ youths. Additionally, some health insurance providers have made it very challenging for these people to get proper health care. Insurance firms are taking these actions, in part because young people who identify themselves as LGBTQ, are more likely to have mental health problems and substance addiction. Insurance providers believe that covering LGBTQ youths will result in greater financial losses. As a result, LGBTQ teenagers are compelled to give up a variety of pastimes.

Criminal justice

Teenagers who identify themselves as LGBTQ, face discrimination in the legal system. In courts, prisons, and correctional facilities, there are higher incidences of abuse against gay and lesbian people. They may experience years of maltreatment and are frequently treated suspiciously by their fellow prisoners. Many inmates have found themselves in solitary confinement as a means of protection. According to research, there are more LGBTQ people behind bars than outside. This suggests that because of their sexual orientation, LGBTQ youths are more likely to serve time in prison.

Discrimination in employment

If those in their late teens identify themselves as LGBTQ, finding employment can be challenging. Some people have been forced to conceal their identities in order to work in certain companies. Similar accusations have been made against hiring managers and HR departments for discriminating against transgender individuals. Teenagers who are rejected from the workforce, become poorer and are at a disadvantage when compared to their classmates. Even those who do manage to secure employment, run the possibility of being sacked at any moment. No matter how well someone has been performing on the job, sexual orientation is one of the most major reasons to fire them. Several managers still lack necessary abilities to deal with LGBTQ teenagers and adults despite the efforts of activists and government organisations. While they may not be fired, LGBTQ teenagers may experience prejudice aimed at keeping them out of the workforce.

For youths to feel accepted in their own community regardless of their sexual orientation or sexual identity, social support is as crucial as parental support. People in general should not be afraid to get in touch with LGBTQ youths. If you know someone in your neighbourhood, you must let them know that you love and support them. Some battles still need to be fought differently despite the fact that legislative bodies and judicial systems have approved laws that have improved the environment for LGBTQ teens. We must make sure that the teenagers who identify themselves as LGBTQ, get an environment where they can grow up without fear and prejudice. We must ensure that they are welcomed and accepted everywhere.

Also Read: The Freedom to Choose

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