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Nearly 70% of LGBTI students drop out of high school in Indian state

Nearly 70% of LGBTI students drop out of high school in Indian state

kerala_students

Despite being India’s most progressive state on LGBTI rights, Kerala’s students are dropping out of high school at an alarming rate.

Queer Pride Keralam is an umbrella group of about 10 LGBTI organizations in the state. One of its coordinators, Prajith, said almost 70% of LGBTI students drop out of high school.

Prajith said LGBTI people still face a lot of discrimination. The group works with young people to help them build their confidence.

‘Almost 68 per cent of the sexual minority individuals in the State are school dropouts,’ he told the Kochi Post.

‘Even though a gay or lesbian person does not face staring from public when he or she is out in the crowd, a transgender individual easily gets noticed. Bullying, harassing and demoralising are usual.

‘So most of them choose to avoid socialisation and coming out in public.’

National leaders

Kerala has lead the way on progressing LGBTI equality including creating job quotas for trans people and holding the country’s first trans athletics competition.

But the Queer Pride group is still working on convincing the government to abolish Section 377 of the Penal Code. Section 377 criminalizes sex between men.

‘We have been pressurising the State Government to address the issues of our people,’ he said.

‘The State should at least do away with section 377. This would be a bold step towards the change and yes, more and more social welfare schemes and Government-level intervention in educating the public on sexual minorities should happen.

‘We hope in the near future, things will fall in line for us.’