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Covid pandemic causes domestic violence and mental distress among LGBT + people in Pakistan

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ANI | Updated: May 15, 2021 5:41 PM IST

Islamabad [Pakistan], May 15 (ANI): The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in reports of domestic violence and mental distress among LGBT + people. It is difficult to find partners due to the restrictions of Covid-19 and the return of many people to their family homes.The COVID-19 pandemic has made being LGBT + in Pakistan much more difficult in a country where these communities are already facing many challenges, including systemic ones. Oppression, social stigma and the legal prohibition of homosexual acts, the DW News Agency reported. Activists fear that growing alienation and barriers to meeting people are negatively affecting mental health in LGBT + communities. identifies as a transgender man. His organization called HOPE has done several studies on the impact of COVID on his community, he told DW that more cases of domestic violence among gay and transgender partners had been reported during lockdowns as financial and emotional stress caused more clashes. especially for transgender women. “Some trans women like having a male boyfriend because it can make her feel more feminine and loved, but, during COVID, we saw that many women reported more domestic violence,” Mani said. Highest suicide rates in Pakistan, along with reports of self-harm and mental health issues. Mani said communities have stigmatized themselves in some ways by reinforcing gender identity as an act of defiance. the community is so marginalized that we talk more openly about sex among ourselves which has stereotyped LGBT people as being more sexual, ”he said, noting that this stereotype of hypersexuality can also In 1860, the colonial government British had criminalized homosexual activity in India, establishing them as crimes that could result in life imprisonment or even death by stoning. largely illegal, those who identify as LGBT + rarely go out to their families.

When family members go out or are discovered to be gay, they are threatened with violence and disavowal. This is why some LGBT + Pakistanis often leave their family homes to seek more freedom to explore their identity and sexuality.However, during the pandemic, exploration and independence have become increasingly perilous for some, a reported the DW news agency. works for a multinational company in Abbottabad, a city slightly north of the capital, Islamabad, told DW that during the pandemic he had only managed to meet his boyfriend remotely once every three months. “My boyfriend is 25 and lives with his family. In Gujranwala so he doesn’t have the same freedom to leave his house,” he said. “With the locks and travel restrictions in place, our encounters have become more difficult. ”Although Usman prefers monogamy, he and his partner have agreed that they are free to explore physical relationships with other men, due to the nature of their long-standing relationship. distance: These meetings are largely facilitated by social networks, online groups and dating apps. Due to the pandemic, however, Usman said that using dating apps and the possibility of real dating has During the fasting month of Ramzan, Usman said that many men also refrain from casual sex and dating, as many homosexuals do. Men negatively internalize their sexuality as men. e something shameful or wrong. Pakistan has more than 873,000 cases of COVID-19 and more than 19,000 deaths. On May 8, the government imposed a 10-day nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of the virus ahead of the Eid al-Fitr holiday. Online dating has suffered some setbacks as well. Prime Minister Imran Khan banned the use of dating apps such as Tinder and Grindr earlier last year in order to curb “un-Islamic behavior,” the DW news agency reported. Users of the dating app have also found ways around the pandemic by providing more transparency about their health. (ANI)

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