By Shreya Patel
Love Is Love
72 jurisdiction criminalize consensual same-sex sexual activities.
44 jurisdiction criminalize consensual activities between women.
11 jurisdiction in which death penalty is imposed or at least a possible for consensual same-sex sexual activities.
15 jurisdiction criminalize gender identity and/or expression of transgender people.
India was also in the this list up until 2018. Section 377 of Indian penal code enforced in 1861 criminalized ‘Act against course of Nature’.
Section 377 stated any consensual activity against the course of nature shall be punished with (life imprisonment) or with imprisonment or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.
On 6 September 2018, the Supreme Court issued its verdict. The Court unanimously ruled that Section 377 is unconstitutional as it infringed on the fundamental rights of autonomy, intimacy, and identity, thus legalizing homosexuality in India. The Court explicitly overturned its 2013 judgment.
Today, homosexuality and queer identities may be acceptable to more Indian youths than ever before, but within the boundaries of family, home and school, acceptance of their sexuality and freedom to openly express their gender choices still remain a constant struggle for LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) people.
Far away from gay pride parades, meet-ups and heated discussions on Twitter, families in rural India have their own ways of dealing with LGBT individuals. In some parts, secret honor killings are planned so that the only way for a young gay man to survive is to run away in the cover of the night to some city, with no money or social support. Lesbian women are subjected to family-sanctioned corrective rapes, which are often perpetrated by their own family members.
A recent study found that one of the major factors that results in the disgrace of LGBT people is parental reaction towards homosexuality. The study goes on to conclude that most LGBT people are acceptable to family only if they agree to behave like heterosexuals.
Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil, whose story of coming out has been well-documented in the media over the past several years, he says LGBT people must not get carried away by what they see in the media.
Anwesh Sahoo, Mr Gay India 2016, who came out to his family at the age of 16, has a different perspective. He says there no perfect timing, staying in closet leads to psychological stress.
Mogli, however, cautions about the widespread practice of family members forcing LGBT people to undergo “corrective” therapy. She was forced to stay at a psychiatric ward for several months after she came out. The experience has also shaped her deep distrust of the medical community.
In a society bound by a rigid set of social and cultural norms that dictate the terms and conditions of education, career and marriage, the lack of family support can prove to be a big blow to the mental and physical health of LGBT people. Isolation and pressure to conform often lead to depression, thoughts of suicide and psychosomatic diseases. Many of them prefer to move to another city to stay away from the immense pressure to marry and start a family.
Families that accept their identities put many restrictions in the way they choose to dress and interact with their partners. In the absence of family support, online groups and social media have offered to form a community outside of family. Platforms like Gaysi and Gaylaxy, and publishers like Queer Ink have helped carve out spaces for LGBT people to interact, share and collaborate.
Being L,G,B or T is not a ‘problem’, nor is it a ‘choice’ as such. LGBT individuals are merely individuals who have sexual preferences that differ from what would appear to be the ‘norm’, due to differing learned behaviors and, you know, having a personal perspective and mindset that differs from everyone else’s. Saying that it’s objectively wrong for people to have sexual preferences that differ from the norm is objectively wrong itself.
Homosexuality is not acceptable, it’s against our culture, society won’t accept, its sin, its diseases, it’s all in your head. Why do people have to listen to this? What is culture that don’t except a person just for being the way they are? Which society? We are the one that defines society, not society that defines us. In fear that they would not be accepted by the people around them, one lives a life where they always have to hide a part of them.
Government showed its support by removing section 377. Now its us people who have to show our support by just merely accepting them for who they are and who they love. That no one has to live in closest and fear of being rejected by people around them.
Love who you want, be who you want and surround yourself with the people you want.
For you are wonderful, beautiful and unstoppable.
No one and nothing can ever stop you from being the person you want to be never forget that