Where were you twenty eight years ago in 1989?
Some of you were where I was, some of you weren't born, while others were out and proud and amazing.
I was trying to figure out who I was while sitting in my high school Biology course. I knew I was gay, had a girlfriend, but didn't want to be gay because of the stigma, homophobia, and I didn't know anyone else in my community or town that was gay.
Still, I could have come out in the United States and even my high school and probably would have been fine.
But what if coming out meant something more than just being shunned? And what if being HIV+ was illegal like it was in India?
When Dominic D'Souza was summoned to the police station on Valentine's Day 28 years ago, he thought a friend needed his help and hurriedly finished his breakfast and reached the said place. He was handcuffed there for reasons unknown to him and taken to the hospital. There, he was questioned endlessly about his sexuality and sex life. He was then detained… no, quarantined in a tuberculosis ward, under guard.
He still did not know what was happening. It was only when his name was entered in a register, the cover of which read 'AIDS', that he learnt of his HIV-positive status. Dominic was Goa's Patient Zero. His disease was equated with criminality under Goa Public Health (Amendment) Act, which allowed isolation and deportation of HIV-positive people. – scoopwhoop.com
I didn't hear about this case. I went back to complaining about how I didn't want to dissect a frog. Or I worried about the big line backer finding out I helped him with his school work because I loved his body. Dumber than a doorknob he was, but o.m.g. So while I was doing that in 1989, Dominic D'Souza was doing so much more and living with much larger issues.
But he chose not to play the victim. He took charge of his life and became India's first HIV-positive activist publicising the damage caused by the prejudice and discrimination against him. He marched in protests and gave speeches around the world, unafraid to become the face of the the campaign for the rights of HIV-positive people. – scoopwhoop.com
Now in 28 years, will people ask where you were when you heard about Chechyna? Or will the atrocities in Chechnya just be an after thought like the mitosis vs meiosis exam?
One of our Instinct friends, Tommy DiDario shared with us this video where he mentions what we could do.
Whats happening to the #LGBTQ community in Chechnya is horrifying. Please watch & consider donating to the Russian LGBT Network (https://www.lgbtnet.org/en/endonate) to help save so many innocent people being held as prisoners in camps and killed for being gay. No one in our administration is talking about this so WE have to do whatever we can to help people in desperate need.
But then again, it is easier to sit in class or in front of the computer since everything does pass.
We do learn from Newsweek.com that others are trying to legally fight back.
Three French LGBT rights groups on Tuesday accused the Chechen government of instigating a “wave of persecution” against gay people as they filed a complaint at the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Almost 200,000 people have signed a petition on the Amnesty International website calling for an end to the “persecution of people who are, as [the government] put it, of ‘non-traditional orientation’.” – Newsweek.com
Thanks Scoop Whoop for sharing Dominic's story with us. Head over to their full post at scoopwhoop.com.
Thanks Tommy for sharing your thoughts.
And about Chechnya. What do we do? Will we need someone like Dominic to make things happen? Or will we need more external action like Tommy is recommending?
The battle can be long. Dominic's work that started 28 years ago came full circle when …
We took one step forward in April this year when the Parliament passed the HIV and AIDS (Prevention and Control) Bill 2017 that prohibits all forms of discrimination against HIV-positive people. – scoopwhoop.com