Sudhir Daya welcomes CSP members to this edition of Frontline celebrating LGBTQIA+ History Month
The theme for 2021 is ‘body, mind, spirit’. This theme resonates with me as I developed an autoimmune condition as I struggled to accept that I was gay. The fear of rejection, ridicule, the social shame, the stereotyping and marginalisation of coming out led my body and mind to attack my spirit. I continue to heal these scars today, living in a society that picks at the scab by perpetuating heterosexuality and cisgender identity as the norm.
It can be wearying having to self-police to safely navigate this social landscape.
I invite you to reflect on what it must be like for members of LGBTQIA+ communities who:
- have to check if the country they are thinking of visiting (for work/holiday) criminalises and punishes who they are (these include Commonwealth countries)
- are scared to tell family, friends, colleagues and new people they meet about their gender identity and sexual orientation
- are considering seriously harming themselves because the mirror does not reflect who they are inside.
This is a strange world, where we are more comfortable seeing two men holding guns than holding hands. Ask yourself, in a world full of so much violence and hate, how come love is still judged so harshly?
As a gay South Asian who grew up in apartheid South Africa, I faced challenges in my life. However, as a cisgender, able-bodied, middle class male I have learnt that I have privilege. What must happen to the spirit, mind and body of a transgender or non-binary person in our society where gender expression is so constrained?
I take hope by focusing on what I believe connects us all on a deep level: we all yearn for love and a way to be congruent in our own body, mind and spirit, so we can express our authentic selves in the world.
The history of the LGBTQIA+ community is filled with sadness, strife and sweetness, incorporating the Stonewall riots, Section 28, the AIDS epidemic, solidarity and ongoing equality. In this issue we celebrate the stories and lived experiences of our colleagues in the physio profession who are represented in the colours of the Progress flag.
If you see yourself in any of these beautiful colours, then join the network to feel supported, connected, informed and proud!
And if you don’t know what some of the letters in LGBTQIA+ mean, find out here.
- Sudhir Daya is the CSP LGBTQIA+ network convenor. Sudhir works in the private sector in London at Integrated Health and The Life Architect
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