Few days back, I was sitting with my friends after office hours. We were playing songs randomly from our playlists. In this course, the song Maa da laadla from Dostana movie made its way to our ears. Everyone enjoyed that song and eventually started to make fun of the male couple of that movie.
After few days, a news article caught my eyes which had the story of a girl who ended her life. The reason behind her act was heart wrenching. She was interested in girls. When she ventured to confide that in her mother, her mother considered it as some sort of illness. The remedy to cure her daughter’s illness was even more unnerving. She directed some male relative of her to have sex with her daughter regularly until her daughter transforms into a normal girl and develops interest in male. This is how she wanted her daughter to be cured. That girl could not take this agony and found it easier to give up on her life rather than to live a dreadful life.
Yes, you got that right. This post is about ‘homosexuals’ or the queer community.
What is the first word that strikes your mind when you come across this term?
Disgusting? Abhorrence? Blot on society? Aliens? Honor killing? Or simply No comments?
I was distraught after reading that news article. Of course, that was not the first time I got to know about that sort of occurrence. In this era, when government is taking unprecedented move like constitutional protection to Right to Privacy, legalizing same sex marriages; these unpleasant events make me feel dejected.
After that I ended up watching many surveys in which opinion of public was sought on homosexuality and few interviews of homosexuals and their relatives. Below mentioned were the most repetitive responses:
- Few people made fun of them.
- Some considered them as animals.
- Some had the notion that they are mentally ill and need psychiatric assistance.
- Some said they should be killed by their own family members or community.
- Some were so ignorant that they were not even ready to accept the existence of homosexuals. How is it possible? They asked.
- Some said it’s against the law of God. Its sin.
- Some blamed it on blindly following western culture.
- Some said it’s OK. Let them be. What’s the point in making anyone’s personal matter a public issue?
There was a lady who spoke about her experience of how she felt when her 20 year old daughter shared with her about her homosexuality. The lady said ‘I could not understand its meaning. I asked her to explain it to me. She gave me a novel in which it was described. At first I got scared that how my daughter is going to survive in this world without marriage. The very next moment, I felt dispirited thinking how she has been living vulnerably in loneliness for so many years because of the fear of getting abandoned or misunderstood by me. This is my failure as a mother. I thought what got changed between us in this one hour or so? Her being homosexual does not change the fact that she is my daughter. I accepted her unconditionally the way she is. I welcomed her female partner. Now, my daughter (in her late 40s) is happily living with her partner from last many years.’
Then there was a medical practitioner who also happened to be a counselor. She narrated one of her experiences with her patient. When the girl shared with her mother her apprehensions about marriage as she was a homosexual, the mother said ‘Even I am not happy in my marriage. It’s not necessary for you to be happy in your marriage. Get married with a guy. Have kids. This is how the society functions.’
I was appalled with these kinds of thoughtless and uncaring remarks from own parents.
Many of us don’t even spare few minutes to pay heed to the news of rallies and struggles of LGBTQ( lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community. Why? Because it’s not related to us? Why should we be concerned?
Homosexuality was criminalized in India by British Raj in the year 1861 due to the Christian religious beliefs of British colonial governments. How is it justified to regulate people of 21st century on the basis of archaic European laws that too when they themselves have evolved with time?
Those branding homosexuals as animals or mentally ills or those making fun of them or those who deny their existence should understand that this sort of response actually gives an impression of them being nescient of the holistic view of the fact of the matter. It depicts their height of being judgmental without having reasoning.
Those considering this as an influence of western culture should visit Khajuraho temple (built 1000 years ago) in the heart of incredible India. The literature text Kamasutra written somewhere around 600 BC by Vatsyayana also has mention of this topic. History is replete with the citation of this subject matter.
Those who term it against the law of God etc should read the mythological texts once. I won’t go into the details considering the intolerance of the audience base of a plural society of a country like India.
Those who consider it as a crime or sin should go through any basic book of criminology which defines crime as behaviors (here homosexuality) that are defined as such by those in positions of power (here the society who indulge in moral policing). The boundary between right and wrong, moral and immoral, ethical and unethical is drawn by people as per their convenience. The outlook and mindset of the society needs to be changed. These people of Queer community need acceptance from society, if not at least from their family. If the perspective of the society does not change towards them, then no law legalizing homosexuality can bring them into the mainstream.
Discussing about homosexuality is a taboo in Indian society. Why can’t we keep it at the place where it should be kept? It’s just a person’s sexual orientation. That’s it. It’s her/his prerogative. People don’t open up about their homosexuality because of the orthodox and regressive mentality of the society. This is the reason proper statistics are not present with the Government of India. Many of the homosexuals end up marrying a person of opposite sex against their will and consent just for the sake of protecting the so called pride and honor of their family. They live their entire life silently crying smothered with their own decision. They ruin their partner’s as well as spouse’s life. Selecting a life partner is everyone’s personal choice. Can’t there be this vantage point about life partner that ‘a life partner is the companion with whom one can spend the rest of his/her life happily, irrespective of gender’? It’s not only about having the so called natural sex and having kids.
There are many people at high echelons who are alleged to be homosexuals.(I don’t have any right to cast aspersions on anyone based on rumors; So, I am not writing names here). They have made significant impacts on society and touched many lives with their skills and talent. How their contribution to the world would have been different had their sexual orientation been contrariwise? Their choice of life partner did not deter them from achieving heights of success in their profession. Personally, I am not at all bothered about anyone’s sexual orientation until and unless their behavior is not causing any harm to me.
Rather than transgressing in other’s personal life, people should learn to focus on developing their own life. There are many important issues like female infanticide, declining sex ratio, literacy rate, education health, etc, on which the society should focus. Only then, we will grow as a nation when we rise above these petty issues.
My message to everyone (not only to homosexuals): In every walk of life, do take stand for your happiness. The family and society will not come to your rescue when you are in distress. People just need topic to gossip about, no matter what it is. Today, it’s you. Tomorrow it’ll someone else. It’s you who has to live with that decision. Retaliate at right time. If you have to, bear the short term pain and humiliation in order to avert the long term sufferings and miseries. Everyone is selfish in this world including your parents and siblings. Always remember your parents’ or anyone else’s happiness is not your happiness. Be bold enough to live the life you have chosen for yourself.
As it goes with a saying, “When you say YES to others, make sure you don’t say NO to yourself.”
At last, the most pertinent question which must have popped up in many of your minds; Am I a homosexual? If I am advocating for their rights, then I must have some ulterior motive behind it. Right?
I don’t need to answer this question. Neither I am bound to let you know nor are you entitled to know this.
However, I don’t want to give you the benefit of doubt. Let me put it this way.
I support animal welfare and rights. But I don’t look like a blue whale or a turtle or a tiger or a leopard. At least those who have met me in person would agree.
I oppose discrimination based on caste, even though I come from the caste which is placed at the highest pedestal in social hierarchy.
I think I have answered the question.
Stay happy. Stay blessed. Live and let live.
* Views expressed are personal. Constructive criticism will be entertained.