Just last week I realised how incredibly backward most of us are when it comes to LGBT and LGBT rights, when a friend of mine said “Oh no- he isn’t gay! I know what a gay person looks like..”
Honestly, what does a gay person look like?
The words ‘gay’ and ‘lesbian’ are considered insults, and calling someone that is the greatest sin one can possibly commit. Barely anyone knows what bisexual means, and transgender equals chakka.
The Indian constitution doesn’t help out either. Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code dating back to 1861 makes homosexual sex punishable by law and carries a ten-year sentence.
And that makes me think- why are we so against homosexuality? Why are we against love, and the fact that in the end, we’re all human?
What we call LGBT was accepted in ancient India,and the famed temples of Khajuraho are evidences to this, as are our epics, puranas and myths. The Rigveda says ‘Vikriti evam prakriti’ which translates to ‘the unnatural is natural’. The Mahabharata tells us about Shikhandi, a male who is born female. And yet we Indians consider it to be ‘against our culture’… 😕
There isn’t even a word for ‘homosexual’ in many Indian languages today. How can one come out of the closet, and realise that he is nothing? How can we punish people for love? We are are proud of a history we barely comprehend. We consider ourselves bearers of Indian culture- but do we even know what Indian culture is about?
The world is changing, and we must change with it too. India cannot remain stagnant within its antiquated ideas while the rest of the world moves ahead. Section 377 is no longer relevant in modern society- and yet it stays, a relic of India’s colonial past, for we have considered it a part of our heritage.
We pride ourselves on being the world’s largest democracy- but how can we call ourselves a democracy when 2.5 million voices are not heard?
India’s future lies in the hands of its young. It’s time we embraced love, and walked hand in hand towards a more liberal future..