While all of my Facebook time line shines with rainbow display pictures, it certainly does feel like there is hope for humanity.
I smiled my brightest at the historic decision of the US Supreme Court declaring that any human may marry another of their kind, with thorough disregard to one’s gender – the LGBT community has never shone so bright! But back home in India, there is a lot of work to do. Humongous, even. And I will not even begin with ‘how can we get Section 377 down’.
The United States of America, no denial, is a super power. Mention the country and the first thing we picture is Hollywood and the second, absolute freedom of expression. As a matter of fact, legalizing gay marriage is probably a tad bit too late for the States – but they are free now, and that is commendable. While I browsed through my Facebook time line, I wasn’t surprised to see a large number of my ‘friends’ on the site merging their profile pictures with rainbow colors. Everybody did that – the middle class, the upper class and most biased communities and the people within who can afford ‘basic’ technology today. I did not; and I am not homophobic. I think gay men have a brilliant sense of style and confidence which I will probably not ever achieve. I think gay women are really sensual and transgenders are pretty hospitable – I am drawing all this from experience, of course.
But let us take this particular situation in an Indian context.
While it is true that India is modernizing, there stands another definable fact that we still face the problems of dowry, patriarchy and loss of free will, especially in the choice of a groom or bride in this very context. Thus, changing your display pictures to a rainbowisque hue does shout out your rational mind and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that at all – but what we, as Indians, can try to achieve is the feat that the US has. The colonial Section 377 needs to be taken down and as India, alongside the world, celebrates humanity with the USA today, a movement of acceptance must be ideally revolutionized.
The other undeniable fact is that a major change as the freedom of the LGBT community in India is something which will not occur in a fraction of a deleted law; open expression of free love will most certainly disturb many just as it will make many rejoice. Thus, switching or rationalising the state of the orthodox or uncomfortable mentalities is what we need to begin with.
As I spoke to an elder yesterday of India embracing the larger LGBT community, I was replied with a not so surprising answer.
I don’t know, but isn’t that not natural? I don’t have a problem as such, but I am not really sure.
And this is precisely how half of the ‘most of homophobic’ India thinks; so much so, that such people are way too scared to even speak of a slight acceptance for the LGBT community.
It indeed is saddening to realise that humans need to make special arrangements to create awareness about the will of their own species.
Also – next time you are travelling in an auto rickshaw/cab – do look carefully at those abandoned ‘chakkas’ who ask you to give them some money and leave away with their head held high.
And if possible, talk to them.