Visualize a family photo. What do you see? A woman in a saree, a man in an impeccable suit, two kids around the ages of 12 and 10 years? The aforementioned scenario represents the affirmed definition of normal in our society. Conventional wisdom states these types of customary structures as a prerequisite for anyone to be considered as an up and coming member of the society. Every exception is irrelevant and inconceivable. Such as a person with a different gender identity than their anatomy or an individual falling in love with someone of the same sex are mere anomalies. Only present to be swept under the rugs for convenience. These conceptualized doctrines exemplify and enforce multitudes of alienation and ostracism in the impressionable minds of our young and narrow thoughts of the elders, regarding those who dissent from categorical conventions. Generally speaking, being a part of the heteronormative cisgender monopoly is the only validated version of normal that exists in societal terms.
Due to the lack of widespread legitimate recognition in the area of the LGBT+ Community, oftentimes the members of the same are resolutely ignored and, in most cases, alienated. They are considered no longer a ratified member of the society and their uniqueness is interpreted in the likes of a contagious virus. Henceforth, they take form of ‘The Other’; the ones who are ‘abnormal’. Case in point: The Kinnar Community in the Indian Subcontinent. The Kinnars are emblematic of the issues regarding alienation and ostracism which occur when one refuses to conform to conventional heteronormativity. It is conspicuous in the way, parents shield their children from the Kinnars, as if their proximity would transmit their gender nonconformity and elders decisively slander their existence.Despite WHO stating that being transgender is not a mental illness, the livelihood of the trans community is, although subconsciously, still a taboo subject.
However, most of this alienation is inculcated through the absence of cognitive diversity in the matters of the LGBT+ Community. Unsupervised comments passed down from elders to the youngsters result in premature assumptions and false proclamations stating LGBT folks as ‘unnatural’. Currently, besides the legal acts, no educational provisions have been improvised by the government for the purpose of imparting gender sensitization and validation of diverse sexual orientations. Lack of comprehension about the variations between gender identity, sexual orientation and romantic dispositions mutilate even more ignorance and abandonment of logical understanding upon the behavioural treatment subjected to the LGBT folks. Owing to this uncompleted knowledge, many stereotypes about the LGBT community have arisen. Such as a gay man must have effeminate characteristics and a lesbian must be roguish. Most of these stereotypes take form under the guiding palm of the rigidity of traditional gender roles. The spectators of the Indian audience are unwilling to see reason between an individual’s gender identity and their chromosomal sex. Even the idea of gender expression is unknown to our society.
Proposed Hypothesis: The irrefutable variation between gender identity, sexual orientation and romantic dispositions can be illustrated by the analogy of the human psyche. In which, Gender can be depicted as the soul of a girl/boy is trapped within the body of the opposite sex. (Much like the movie The Hot Chick, but irreversible) Mind represents sexual orientation, as it categorizes the specific type of people a person is physically attracted to and the heart can be undertaken as romantic dispositions, since it tells us that we are romantically affectionate towards the same gender or even multiple genders. In simpler words, proper nourishing of the mind, the heart and the soul are essential and liberating. As there is usually no explanation about the LGBT+ issues, a lot of people are dumbfounded and uncertain about accepting it. Since, our society has been ingrained with corrupted Victorian morals; we tend to perceive the LGBT+ community as ‘different’ in the best case scenario and ‘aliens’ in the worst ones.
The phenomenon of ostracism and dehumanization, of the LGBT+ community, is deep-rooted to such an extent that it serves as justified punishment in the eyes of traditionalists. Name-calling, violence, slander and even sexual assault are thought as B-rated offense by the authorities.The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019; doesn’t even provide 2% reservation in educational provinces like the redacted 2014 version of the same act. Even for the sexual assault of a person belonging to the third gender, the criminal is convicted a maximum imprisonment of two years. Though, the law does state that discrimination, violence or prejudice of any kind, inflicted on trans people is a punishable offense, it is only abided in theory.
Derogatory slurs, under the disguise of comical commentary, are instigated everyday. Laughing at an individual’s nonconforming traits is as widespread as the pandemic. The utter manipulation of these abusive slangs purposefully serves to undermine the hardships faced by the LGBT+ community. The fact that the legal standing of our community is precarious, and hence ridiculed, exacerbates our predicament. Many advocators and supporters are still questioning why same sex couples are still not allowed to adopt children.
Coupled with that, some minorities in the LGBT+ Community have still yet to receive holistic validation, from within the majorities of the said community itself. Indubitably, verbal bashing and accusations regarding those minorities are attacking the vulnerable psyche of the newcomers, who have just begun the laborious effort of finding a suitable label for themselves.
A lot of asexual people, apparently couldn’t make the cut required to join a community which swears by the M.O. of ‘Live and let live’. There have been many overtly wild objections about why they are not a part in the LGBT+ conglomeration. When asked what the ‘A’ stands for in LGBTQIA, the acephobes replied with, “That just means Allies, aces are not LGBT”. Likewise, heteroromantic sexuality is said to be an unsubstantiated disposition which falsely ratifies “straight people who just want attention”.
Moreover, the beleaguered bisexuals are also drawn in this wildfire of hatred as lot many people assume that Bisexuality is a phase or that claiming to be bisexual is attempted by closeted homosexuals in order to fit in.The unwelcoming remarks about certain LGBT+ minorities impregnate seeds of doubt and self-questioning in the unsuspecting mentality of the closeted pupils in relation with LGBT+ issues.
It is easy to think that our society is getting increasingly progressive and liberal, but when you look closer you can see the cracks in the foundation, which cause the inevitable downfall of entire communities. The monumental impediments like incognizance of the general public and inter-communal disputes within the LGBT+ fellowship are hollowing out the innocent aspirations of young LGBT activists.
Being labelled as a monstrosity or an abomination leaves detrimental repercussions in the psychological stability of young closeted teens. I believe the fact that the number of suicide attempts by the trans community in India, is the highest in comparison with the other countries, speaks for itself.
The collective burden of alienation and ostracism on the shoulders of the nonconforming dissenters, otherwise known as the LGBT+ community, are indelibly illustrative of emotional trauma which is further exacerbated through internalized queerphobia and throes of gender dysphoria.
The patronizing condescension and outright denunciations of repugnance, concerning the LGBT+ Community, have confiscated the self worth and the ontological sense of agency formerly possessed by those who dare to dissent from heteronormativity.