“I think being gay is a blessing and it’s something I’m thankful for every single day.” –
June is the Gay Pride Month, the month that reflects the pride of every single person belonging to the LGBT community. A fight that has continued for centuries now, the LGBT community still awaits a brighter day. India is constantly heading towards modernization but one thing that still lacks is the power of acceptance in the society.
People even today have hardly accepted the LGBT community as their own. For many, it is still something unnatural and shameful; something that doesn’t deserve to live and love freely. Irony strikes when the society questions them, blames them and they face humiliation at the hands of their own parents and relatives. Indeed, we are a land of cultures but unfortunately we aren’t a society that is happily accepting. We can afford to witness rape cases and murders but we can’t afford to let the LGBT community live and love as they want. As the citizens of India, even they have the right to privacy and equality. Nobody has any authority to question their lifestyle or the choices they make in life. From their families to the society, from fighting for being considered equal to deserving
professional independence, this community has come a long way in this journey.
In an exclusive conversation with Mr. Darvesh Singh Yadvendra who manages CageD_UncageD, Tales by Queers, we got the answers to many questions. He told us how crossing all the barriers, the LGBT community has begun to raise their voice for equality. The legal aspect of our country about the LGBT community has a lot more to it than we know.
The same-sex relationship was criminalized by British under Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code in 1861. The Section 377 clearly states : “Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.” with the added explanation that : “Penetration is sufficient to constitute the carnal intercourse necessary to the offense described in this section.”
In 2009, the Delhi High Court criminalized the homosexual intercourse finding it unconstitutional. That went as a relief for many but in 2013, the Supreme Court of India reconsidered this decision. The Supreme Court of India again criminalized the homosexual intercourse in 2013. It felt as a setback to the community and faced much humiliation.
After various petitions filed by many esteemed organizations and people, the Supreme Court reconsidered their decision in 2016. It said that right to personal privacy is a fundamental right under the Constitution of India. The court also ruled that a person’s sexual orientation is a privacy issue. This gave a ray of hope to the LGBT community, expecting that this might be an asset to decriminalize Section 377.
In 2018, the Supreme Court is considering Section 377 and drafting a Uniform Civil Code. If it’s accepted, same-sex marriage would be legalized in India.
Apart from the legal aspect, we also realized how the society has not seen the LGBT community as their own. People unfortunately tend to find it a curse that may destroy their culture and traditions. The irony is, even if they are independent, their sexuality is a major concern for the society. Not because they will applause them for their hard work but to question about how can they live freely. Probably God never thought that his creation that has equal talents will become a questionable identity for the society. Unfortunately, before the society it is the family that
break down the person.
Boys when realize this, instead of support, they receive tremendous emotional pressure. They listen taunts like ‘you are born to make us feel ashamed’ or ‘you are not a complete man’ or ‘you need to marry a woman and lead a normal life’. People fail to realize that a human being is first identified by their heart and not by their sexual orientation.
Similarly, the LGBT women face trouble when they refuse to marry or have kids. They again face emotional blackmail not only at homes but also at theirs workplaces. A woman is always conditioned to marry, this mentality leads to uncontrollable pressure.
Just imagine how it feels when you are forced to marry someone you simply can’t feel home with! Just imagine how it feels when you enter a crowded place and all eyes look up to you as a curse. Just imagine how it feels when you won’t be allowed to marry someone you love.
Well, that’s something we need to ask our hearts. Every person has the right to marry, have kids but with the person they willingly want to do it. No power or law can intervene in their personal lives and especially their sexual orientation. It is nowhere applicable to use somebody’s sexuality as a sword to defeat their strength and force them to feel weak about themselves. In the past few years, the LGBT community has gained support over the social media. Many pride marches and parades are held and the youth has begun to hold discussions about it. A change is on the way and it will surely come, bringing justice to anyone who has his personal life subjected to the chains of feudal mentality.