The public demonstrations of support for the LGBTQIA+ community is a fairly recent practice in India. However, homophobia and transphobia still prevail. It has been an issue for a long time. Not many people talk about this issue. Being a part of the LGBTQIA+ community in India is considered “abnormal” and “inhuman”. Terms like “gay” and “eunuch” are considered insults. Being a part of the 21st Century, I feel like people should open up their minds and act like it.
My classmates often gossiped about men from the movie industry being a couple. It was a subject of ridicule and mockery. At the time, I had a million questions and thoughts, one of which was, “What is so wrong with them being a couple, if they are at all?” However, I did not speak up about it. To this day, I still wonder why it was so hard for me to talk about it. Perhaps I did not have much knowledge about the community at the time.
Conversion therapy and many different “Havans” are known to “cure,” the said “illness”. A majority of the people who go through these processes report severe mental distress and trauma. People banish and disown their family members for they believe that there is something wrong with the person.
On the 6th of September, 2018, the court ruled that Section 377 was unconstitutional and was annulled and in effect immediately. It was a huge stepping stone for the country. The annulment legalised homosexual relationships and stated that a queer individual will receive full protection according to the law without any discrimination. However, we must note that this was not enough to normalise being a member of the LGBTQIA+ community in India completely. Same-sex marriage and adoption for homosexual couples are still not legalised in India.
I became aware of the implications of homophobia and transphobia in our country. It became a big issue when I saw someone close to me get bullied about it. I saw them being so hurt. I still remember their crying face and that is when I first spoke up about the issue.
Denying rights to people because of their sexuality (which is a choice they don’t make, they are born that way) or gender identity is purely cruel. Because at the end of the day, they are the citizens of our country and are human beings. I do not think it is fair to make them feel inferior or unnatural.
Kimaya Rana is a class 9th student of Zydus School for Excellence, Gujarat.