LGBT+ Victory in India: A Final Win or Still a Long Way to Go?

  • Let's not forget there were once child marriages, satipratha, dowry, and women were compelled to see the world through the veil.
  • "I came to know about lesbians but still the whole concept was not clear to me, especially when I had no one to discuss it with."
  • Standing up can save more people, especially teens like the girl from Kerala who attempted suicide for being bullied.

A historic verdict was given by the India Supreme Court on September 6, 2018 in favor of the LGBTQ+ community, giving them freedom of privacy and the right to live their lives with dignity. People across the nation celebrated with huge enthusiasm and relief. But is it the final win? It took 157 years to reach this point and is it going to take again a long period of time for the society to realize and accept the situation?

According to the figures submitted to the SC in 2012, there were about 2.5 million gays in India which proves that there were not just a handful of people fighting for freedom of self acceptance. In spite of it, they faced bullying, experienced physical violence, being ignored and much more.

We need to understand, being homosexual is not an option, it’s genetic. People often come up saying homosexuality is against nature, but I believe being evil, being unkind, killing people, losing your humanity and more of these kind of traits which we acquire while growing, all come under the category of things against nature, rather than those people having their homosexuality inbuilt since their birth.

For people who think being homosexual is against Indian culture, then let’s understand, laws are not based on Indian culture but the pros and cons of the situation.  And when we are talking about Indian culture, then let’s not forget there were once child marriages, satipratha, dowry, and women were compelled to see the world through the veil. Do the people argument about “Indian Culture” support all the above?

A few days back, I had a conversation with one of my school friends, who is a homosexual. She told me about her journey of self acceptance. She said:

“When I was in school, you all knew that I am different, I am not like all you guys. Even I was not sure what’s wrong with me, I thought I’m the only one suffering, I’m the only one who needed medical help. All those thoughts used to make me feel devastated and confused. I even Googled about this, about how I feel. Yeah, I came to know about lesbians but still the whole concept was not clear to me, especially when I had no one to discuss it with. In school, our seniors used to say things that used to make the situation worst for me.

After that, when I got shifted to another place, I found a girl who was like me. And from there I started learning more about homosexuality and my condition and knew that I’m not the only one. After that, I came to Delhi for my graduation and here I found more people like me. Not only that, they also inspired and motivated me to accept the way I am and told me that being a homosexual is not a problem but a unique personality.

And today, I’m proud of being a lesbian. I even told my parents about everything and I think they accepted me the way I am. And when we talk about section 377 and the verdict by SC, I think it’s going to support us to fight against the mentality of society and help more people like me to accept who they are.”

When I asked her about why she didn’t contact us for last five years, what she replied just made me sad:

“I was not sure if you all will accept me for being a lesbian, after being a member of heterosexual society, if you will understand me and the whole situation!”

And somewhere I found it justifying. Even if we are not against homosexuals, even if we support and encourage them for who they are, we hardly ever show up to show them that we understand and respect their self acceptance. Standing up can save more people, especially teens like the girl from Kerala who attempted suicide for being bullied, and help other members of the LGBTQ+ community to fight against our so called society and their illogical mentality.

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Neelkusum Kerketta

My name is Neelkusum Kerketta. I am from India. I am a student of Journalism and Mass Communication in Amity University. I am into creative writing, poetry, speaking.

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