The Hopeful Criminal

I woke up on the morning of the 11th of December with the pain of being branded with these triangles on my bare body: I am the homosexual; I am the criminal; I am an Indian.

The Nazis during their reign used several symbols to identify their “enemies”, in order to ease their extermination; amongst them were – a pink triangle for homosexuals, a green triangle for criminals and a red triangle for political prisoners.

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I woke up on the morning of the 11th  of December with the pain of being branded with these triangles on my bare body: I am the homosexual; I am the criminal; I am an Indian.

I now stand at a point in time where I can truly understand the sentiments of Tilak when he said, “Swaraj (Freedom) is my birthright and I shall have it”. It serves to remind me, that freedom to be who I am is a HUMAN right. It is NOT a right that is granted to me by virtue of my citizenship to a country. It is a right that I inherit from the evolution of the conscience of men and women of my species. I inherit it simply on the grounds that I am human, before all things.

Why then should I mourn this judgment?

Because I live within a society where what is “right” and “wrong” is decided by its courts of law. Hence, an appropriation and acknowledgement of my rights as a human, facilitates the attainment of ‘full personhood’ and nurtures the spirit of life. But on this day as the masks fall to reveal the sham and shameful minds of the lords and ladies in power, a sense of fear, alienation, betrayal and anger brims over.

Maybe a time will come when I’m old and frail, when a movie will be made to tell the stories of the survivors of this holocaust of morals, dignity and identity. A filmmaker will then try to convey my struggles to a generation that will not understand. A nation will then stand half-heartedly with its head down in shame, at the tombstones of the love that it made its gay sons bury.

But my sincere hope is that the personal and communal adversities that the judgment inflicts upon us, will serve to unite us more that ever before.

The cries of the suffering mind are too inhuman to bear, without doing something about it. The world is turning too bad to stand high up in our ivory towers and pretend that we don’t care. It’s time to step down and do something about the governments that trod their citizens in the sludge of their bitter-twisted lies. 

Although the wounds of my prosecution and disenfranchisement now begin to bleed, my spirit remains unhindered. No court can confer my rights, it is a merely a medium that can confirm them; that they have failed to do so is simply a reflection of the infirmity of the lordships.

We are a community that has always known that this fight will take time to be won; we stand together and we will walk the streets together. We are a community of men and women that cried in our youth when we learnt of the hatred that society spewed at us, and we survived. This is not a story of loss or death, but one of birth, of a revolution. Hope, resilience and fortitude will continue to survive as they always have.

On looking skywards

In this moment everything around me blurs

I find that my hands and legs are tinted

In a strangeness that I’ve never seen before.

A wave of freedom hugs the shores of my fears

I look up to see that I stand in Rainbow shadows

Forever will I be drunk in its possibility.

I shall forever thrive on the memory of this glimpse

And know that in this moment: I am, I am, I am – ALIVE.

About the author

John Q

Who is John Q Public? He wonders this himself, more often than he'd like. When he's not doing what he's supposed to be doing - he thinks and when these thoughts have found their words, he writes them down, wreathing his experience to paper, almost wishing his reality were more 'real'. He loves the smell of new books, as well as the musty and trusty scent of the old. He spends too much on books, and more books. Besides that he wishes to be a short story writer and a poet someday (Oh! and he also wishes to get a little leaner, probably because society has warped, destroyed and remade his perception of beauty, while he remains blissfully oblivious).