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LGBTQ rights discussed at Chowgule College

Department of Psychology, Parvatibai Chowgule College of Arts and Science, autonomous organised their annual discussion forum on the topic ‘LGBTQ rights: The Journey of a Rainbow’. The event was open to all students and teachers from colleges across Goa as well as the general public.

The discussion witnessed four speakers, CEO of the Goa Rainbow Trust, Christine Fernandes; parent of a child who has come out as a lesbian, Rakhee Bhide; counsellor at Antarman Preetha Mathews and advocate Prasanna Timblo who addressed the event.

Head of department of psychology, Sobita Kirtani spoke about sexual preferences being a natural orientation and societal acceptance of the LGBTQ community.

Mathews spoke about how social culture determines gender and how homophobia is a choice. She also spoke about homo avoidance and how it is important for society to change their attitudes about homosexuality and not treat them as a minority.

Timblo spoke about the legal system’s perception of the minority and how it has slowly changed over the years. Crisp and factual, she walked those present through the complex processes and various hearings and judgments of the Indian legal system regarding the LGBTQ community.

Citing her personal experiences, Bhide mentioned that the reason why Indians are so unhappy is because of their intolerance. She made an appeal to the audience to love each person and each child unconditionally as children need this support the most.

The last speaker of the event was Fernandes who highlighted the adversities she faced and how difficult it was to face rejection at home, thus changing the sombre mood, and giving it a much positive outlook. She narrated her slow discovery, about how different she was and embraced it fully. She spoke about how it was easier to get acceptance from friends as compared to family. Finally she spoke about how she arrived at setting up a Rainbow Trust in Goa and a success story of this establishment.

The discussion concluded with a question and answer session.

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