• Antara Basu

FROM CLOSETS TO THE STREETS

"I hate the word homophobia. It's not a phobia. You're not scared. You're an asshole."

- Morgan Freeman


A customary rainbow flag, rainbow-painted cheeks, hand-drawn posters which would have made Da Vinci proud, people wearing ‘Love Is Love’ outfits and a little bit of courage. And there, you'll have yourselves the ideal, pride parade beginner pack. And it isn’t until we reach the later phases that we realize that the problem goes much beyond rallying on the streets and chanting slogans. Being a part or an ally of the LGBTQ+ community recognizes deep-rooted perversions within the various notions of various people. April 2014, when the Supreme Court released the verdict in the NALSA V UNION OF INDIA, or the Section 377 revocation on September 2018 are both considered as landmark judgments in the monumental fight for the freedom of our LGBTQ+ community. These decisions not only represent a truly equal status amongst people, disregarding their sexual orientation, but also accentuates an important detail; the extensive path that India has yet to walk, on this road to rights.

May 17, 1990, the World Health Organisation decided to classify homosexuality as a mental disorder, and today in 2020, we as a society continue to do the same even after years of development. Because we refuse to accept that the choice about who a person loves is personal. Unbelievable isn't it? One of the distinguished issues that we need to counter in the current scenario is pseudo acceptance. Waving a rainbow flag to show solidarity but not wanting your children to identify as gay or trans. Or the pseudo-liberals with their beautifully cultivated progressive attitude and admirable forward-thinking but who refuse employment to people on the basis of their sexual orientation does not mean being an ally of the LGBTQ+ community. Ranging from housing discrimination to homelessness and even hate violence that proves to be fatal for many, LGBTQ+ people face threats to life just because other people believe that it is okay for them to dictate the lives of those who don’t concern them.

India can approve of countless legislation's and yet we will never be able to fully guarantee the rights and safety of our LGBTQ+ community until we can drain out prejudice and bigotry from thought. And in a country like ours, with a majority of the population uneducated, ignorance is rampant. Even within the literate masses how can we discuss sexuality when even the thought of sex is regarded as forbidden. Today if we as straight cis men and women, protected by the veil of our cisness and straightness, are denied basic human dignity, equality, and rights-based on a very personal choice, it seems unfair. And that is exactly how we are allowing our LGBTQ+ counterparts to be treated. The fight for true equality demands not our silence but our raging voices. In this 21st century, it is time we come out of our ignorance before coming out of our closets.