Kerala: Homophobia thrives as Alappuzha posters link Monkeypox to homosexuality

The World Health Organisation has already said that anyone who has close contact with someone who has Monkeypox symptoms is at risk.

BySreerag PS

Published Jul 25, 2022 | 5:59 PMUpdatedJul 29, 2022 | 1:21 PM

Multiple posters have surfaced in Alappuzha in Kerala depicting homosexuality as the reason behind the spread of Monkeypox. (Creative Commons)

Posters currently put up in the Alappuzha town of Kerala are claiming that the gay and bisexual communities are responsible for the spread of Monkeypox in the state.

Multiple posters surfaced in the town depicting homosexuality as the reason behind the spread of the virus.

In Europe, as most cases of Monkeypox were reported among the queer community, many conservative groups who are opposing homosexuality around the world have taken the opportunity to malign people who prefer to have sexual contact with the same gender.

A similar campaign is underway in Kerala.

In response to frequently asked questions on Monkeypox, the WHO has already said: “The risk of monkeypox is not limited to people who are sexually active or men who have sex with men. Anyone who has close contact with someone who has symptoms is at risk.”

Muhammed Unais is currently a guest lecturer in a government school in Kulathupuzha in the Kollam District.

However, he is better known as the first person from the Muslim community of Kerala to come out as gay.

Unais told South First that campaigns like these adversely affect the lives of the queer community in the state.

“Most diseases in the world are spread among heterosexuals. Do we call them a heterosexual disease?” he asked.

He also equated this to when the Tablighi Jamaat was deemed responsible for the spread of Covid-19 in the country.

Unais said he suspects a group called Wisdom — related to the Kerala Nadvathul Mujahideen, an Islamic organisation that follows the principles of Salafism — of running the campaign.

He alleged that Mujahid groups had also started an anti-queer drive called “Pride Awareness Campaign” right at the start of pride month — observed throughout June across the world — and the posters were identical to the programmes conducted by this group.

He said the Kerala Police should take action against those who conduct such hate campaigns.

“There are numerous hate videos on YouTube depicting the queer community in a very bad light. If at least in one instance action is taken against these hatemongers, such campaigns would come down in number,” Unais said.

Members of the queer community in the state have urged Health Minister Veena George to take appropriate action against those who spread rumours and misinformation about the virus.