[Editor’s Note: This Guest post is written by Neha Nambiar who reached out to us right after the 377 SC ruling to share her thoughts. We hope you enjoy reading her piece.]
The Supreme Court of India just criminalized homosexuality, by validating a law laid down during the British rule in the 1800s. A law that could lead anyone indulging in what they term to be “Unnatural, against the laws of nature”, to a life term in Jail. And with it, it just condemned an entire community to stay safe and caged in their familiar closets. And also misguidedly assumed that it is only homosexuals who enjoy oral and anal sex.
I guess it’s natural to feel unworthy then… To feel so painfully uncomfortable in a body that is your own, in a world that doesn’t stop to tell you how disproportionate it really is. Apparently my vagina, your penis and our assholes are under the authority and scrutiny of the Indian Government. But of course… It’s natural I guess.
In a world where your breasts can be too small to be attractive and too big can be repulsive. Apparently, your hips, your back, your ass, there’s a standard size it must all come in. Penis’ however, it seems the bigger the better. Nothing repulsive when it comes to sizes there. This of course the supreme court hasn’t yet found time to take a call on. What with the many acts of carnal abomination we’ve been partaking in; apparently, the failing rupee, our population problem and the fact that we have all but one thousand tigers left in the country, (among other woes) aren’t problem enough.
How dare we indulge in exploring our own bodies and find ways to skirt the far out realms of nirvana with each other. The Kamasutra is a lie. And archeological sites like the Ellora are mere rumors sparked off by a shameless community of uncultured men and women who like oral and anal sex with one or multiple genders. I’ll be surprised if a law, asking women to grow their breasts and maintain a voluptuous size acceptable by the honorable and cultured, men and women folk of the country, isn’t brought out soon. In some experimental way to bring down AIDS and cure homosexuality maybe.
I guess this is all natural though.
I guess it’s natural to live in fear too… To feel your body violated every. single. time you walk past a crowd. To feel irresponsible for getting a meal after dark. To feel the need to carry something with you to protect yourself- a knife, an extra phone, emergency contacts, mobile apps that will send out your location if you’re in trouble, pepper spray, anything! I guess it’s natural to worry, to be scared that your body isn’t seen as something that belongs to you. That an entire society of people claim proprietorship over it. To be unable to walk without your sexuality mattering. To address our friends and acquaintances by the gender they like making love with. My “gay friend”, “That girl we met, you know, the lesbian”, I guess it is natural. It must be natural to be made to feel ugly and wrong for being different.
It must also be natural for unquestioning puppets of culture and tradition to live a life of probable sexual displeasure and dissatisfaction simply because it never occurred to them that there is also another way to make love.
And I guess this is the natural order of things then.
And since we’re waving banners of what is natural and what unnatural, I guess this progress is the will of god too. This toxic graveyard of plastic I see buried deep inside the soil we came upon quite naturally. These lifeless structures we create to house our natural souls and earn our natural living, these precarious roads and machines we’ve built up, must all be so scrupulously natural too then.
The pesticides in our food have to be natural too then. As must be the genetically modified crops we’re branching out to.
And we are all animals at the most basic sense of the word after all, so rape must be natural too.
And of course,the subjugation of an entire gender (let’s add sexual preferences to it too), completely natural. The Sati System was certainly a natural course of action for any window, marital rape is definitely too natural to be called a phenomena, child abuse, hate crimes, discrimination, murder, conspiracies, human trafficking, drug abuse, terrorism, gang wars, deforestation, depletion of wildlife, overfishing, slavery, white supremacy, heterosexual supremacy and even maybe, flying in an airplane, must. all. be. Incredibly Natural aspects of society.
So let’s talk about the unnatural then.
Because Love, truly must be. The expression of love by copulating must be. Rumi’s love for Shams must be. It must be unnatural to expect to be yourself. In a society that still predominantly believes that it’s the cell phones and the education that “spoil” a woman, liberalism must surely be filthy unnatural.
For a culture who’s “majority” proclaims ideologies of transcending and Of growing beyond the limiting shackles of blindness by making way for love- Acceptance, must really be an unnatural thing.
Moving past our own prejudices and reservations must be. Keeping our religion away from justice must be. Ingurgitating statutes of human rights into an already massively borrowed constitution must be.
It’s one thing to grow up feeling alienated by a global ethos that has no same-sex fairy tales, no epic same-sex romances. It’s harder still to then, hope for a supportive nod from the people around you.
But what do a people do, when the very country sworn to uphold their rights, disregards them. What do a people do when their highest court of justice recklessly criminalizes an act and an expression of love?
To Feel your heart rip open at the sight of another human being so afraid to talk about who they love, to ache at the thought of all the self loathing they might’ve grown up with, and to feel your being swell up to the edge of a wail in your chest, at the thought of a million and more men and women struggling to just be. What an unnatural feeling, that.
Surely, love was not the way it was intended.
Unnatural. All This.
[This post was originally published on the blog: http://flippincoins.wordpress.com/. We share it on Gaysi with full permission of the author.]