On 26th June 2015, Supreme Court of USA passed the historic judgement of legalising gay marriage , India was celebrating with rainbow coloured facebook display pictures, statuses about ‘love prevailing over hate’ and tweets on how India should take the same step forward. But the Indian support in social media is poles apart when it comes to the actual support received by the LGBT community in real life. If the LGBT community genuinely received even half the support from the Indian community as compared to the social media, they would not have to live in the darkness in the 21st century.
Being a homosexual in India is no less than being a wanted criminal who has gone into hiding. It is the sorry state of affairs which forces them to stay in the closet. Homophobia is prevalent in India and public discussion about sexuality is rare. As a result of the lack of support, they are forced to hide their natural sexual orientation and live their life according to the society’s standards.
The minuscule who dared to reveal themselves were looked down upon and rejected by their friends and families. It takes courage to look into the mirror and accept that the person standing in front of it is gay in India. The shame, humiliation and embarrassment and from which they suffer often lead to suicide and honour killings. Those who have the will to live despite the ridicule, often try to be straight. But they themselves know that in the long run, it won’t be of much help.
The law doesn’t help the community either. The infamous overturning of Sec 377 in 2013 which recriminalized gay sex, made way for protests and gay pride march in various cities of India. Many rape crimes do not get reported due to lack of support of police and ridicule from the world.
Almost 60 percent of registered homosexuals of India admitted that they were sexually abused in the past. Shockingly, about 80 percent of them revealed that the molester was one close family member. Due to pressure from family and society, they did not report firsthand. The number of crimes is much higher than the actual figures. The do not have the right to marry nor property rights .They cannot render their service in Indian Military. The Government is not taking steps for their betterment due to pressure from Hindutva groups which view the community as inhumane.
The situation is getting much better in recent times.Many prominent Bollywood celebrities like Amitabh Bacchan and Celina Jaitly have been associated with organisations which promote gay rights.Anjali Gopalan, famous human rights activist, is famous for launching the first gender queer pride parade in Madurai. Many religious scholars openly expressed their opinions about decrimininalising Sec. 377.
Delhi University has also recognised transgenders as the third gender in their admission season 2015.
Changing the Indian mindset which is deep rooted in preserving their culture cannot be achieved in a single day. The lack of proper sexual education is the reason why our thoughts still reside in the 16th century
Being homosexual is not a psychological disorder, rather it is as natural as being left handed or having blonde hair. The acceptance of homosexuality as normal is a must to prevent such a colourful community to stay hidden.