[Guest Author : Saakshi O. Juneja]
Homosexuals. This word as most of us are aware is used for individuals who dare to voice their desire of expressing “different” sexuality. Things that do not fit within the society model are considered different.
So do I think homosexuality is a crime? Yes, would be my reply. It is nothing less than a crime, especially when placed in the Indian sub-context. For centuries it’s been a taboo and considered a curse. To top it all, homosexuality is classed as illegal under an outdated 141- years-old law that prohibits “unnatural” sexual acts, resulting in a punishable offense. This legal stance has made virtually impossible for the Indian Queer community to be completely open about their sexuality.
Even though in today’s day and age, with the growing influence of western culture, representation in main stream media and acceptance from certain sections of society, homosexuality has managed to make its presence felt in our lives – there are many men and women who attempt suicide because of their “different” desires and hence feel worthless in the eyes of God, family and wider society.
Since homosexuality signifies lives that challenge the society’s norm, which states that the only valid way of sexually or romantically relating to one another is within the framework of either marriage or a heterosexual relationship; brutality, hatred and violence are a part of continuous struggle of a queer life.
The Indian society’s view on sexuality continues to be limited and extremely rigid. We refuse to understand the “Queer” world, which embraces identities and desires of sexuality that go beyond the categories of “homosexual” and “heterosexuals”.
Gays. Lesbians. Bisexuals. Trans-gender individuals have no rights to marry, adopt children or even protest against discrimination at the workplace… in fact, no right to be recognized as normal human beings, free to live life as billions of other do – All because of their sexual orientation. This is indeed a fearful reality, especially for a country where more than 10 per cent of the population is comprised by GLBTs.
Rather than pondering over ridiculous thoughts which look upon homosexuality as a crime, it would be in our best interest (as a society and nation) to actually look for solutions to curb such in-human mentality. Don’t you think so?
And to begin, all we need is an open mind and above all, an open heart.