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Nothing to Fix

Nothing to Fix
Medicalisation of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

First Edition
Edited by:

February 2016 | 364 pages | SAGE YODA Press

The theory and practice of medicine remains central to the concerns of persons identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex or others. Individuals who have homosexual desires or feel transgender or are born intersex are often taken against their will to medical professionals. Instead of receiving affirmative support, they have distressing experiences of violence and violations. The narratives of such violence and violation include treatments offered for converting homosexuals to heterosexuals, humiliation of transgender people within the institution, and emergency surgeries of intersex infants who, due to the collusion between surgeons and parents, face the scalpel to convert them into an ‘acceptable’ gender. Further, everyday struggles of LGBT persons like suicidality and depression are dealt with less sensitively owing to the pathologisation of their identities. The most critical challenge here is the one pertaining to the need to change mindsets of doctors who are still insistently focused on changing their patients’ sexual orientation or still exhibit prejudice when it comes to dealing with their transgender patients. As a starting point for change, this anthology brings together writing by medical professionals and queer activists which is beginning to question heteronormativity within the field of medicine.

 The essays in this volume begin by outlining the frameworks on which the mental health and other medical sectors have posited homosexual desire and transgender or intersex identities. They then argue that sexual orientation and gender identity are not to be seen as pathologies and suggest forms of engagement that are more affirmative of LGBT identities. Finally, they look at the interface between law, medicine and human rights as a starting point of a change in the perception of LGBT persons. Aiming to incubate serious and sustained work on the centrality of the medical establishment to queer lives, this anthology will be of particular interest to medical practitioners, queer activists, members of the LGBT community, and all readers who believe that every individual should receive medical attention that is shorn of prejudice of any kind.

Dr. Shekhar Seshadri
Arvind Narrain and Vinay Chandran
Arvind Narrain and Vinay Chandran
‘It’s not my job to tell you it’s okay to be gay…’ Medicalisation of Homosexuality: A Queer Critique
Dr. Bharath Reddy
Medical Students’ Attitudes, Knowledge and Perception of Homosexuality in India
Ketki Ranade
Medical Response to Male Same-sex Sexuality in Western India: An Exploration of ‘Conversion Treatments’ for Homosexuality
Bina Fernandez
Mental Health Professionals’ Perspectives on Lesbian Women
Dr. Venkatesan Chakrapani
Sex Change Operation and Feminising Procedures for Transgender Women in India: Current Scenario and Way Forward
Mayur Suresh
Pendulous Penises and Couture Clitorises: What Medical Men do to Intersex Infants
Dr. Bharath Reddy
A Comparative Study of Homosexual and Heterosexual Men with Respect to Quality of Life, Substance Use and Suicidality
Dr. Ami Sebastian Maroky, Dr. Shekhar Seshadri, Dr. Suresh Bada Math, Dr. C.R. Chandrashekar, Dr. Aswin Ratheesh, Dr. Biju Viswanath
Validity of ‘Ego-dystonicity’ in Homosexuality: An Indian Perspective
Radhika Chandiramani
Why Should Therapists be Sensitive to Sexual and Gender Nonconformity?
Dr. Lata Hemchand
A Psychologist’s Journey to Understanding Sexual Orientation
Vidya Sathyanarayanan and Poornima Bhola
Transgender and Transsexual Issues: Clinical Dilemmas and Best-practice Guidelines in Mental Health Care
Vinay Chandran
Contexts of Distress for LGBT People: A Counsellor’s Guide
Vinay Chandran
Coming Out to Parents and Friends: Need and Perspectives from Parents of LGBT
Vinay Chandran and Arvind Narrain
Religion and Sexual Orientation: Reconciling Faith with Same-sex Love
Arvind Narrain
Section 377 and the Medical Establishment: Changing the Terms of the Debate
Human Rights Violations Against the Transgender Community: A Study of Kothi and Hijra Sex Workers in Bangalore, India PUCL-K
Pushing the Boundaries of Transgender and Intersex Persons’ Rights: Further Resources