By Aditi Yadav
June is celebrated worldwide as Pride Month. Pride Month commemorates years of struggle for civil rights and the on-going pursuit of equal justice under the law for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community, as well as the accomplishments of LGBTQ individuals. The struggle has been real for these people especially in countries like India where the consensual sexual conduct between people of the same sex is considered to be not less than a crime.
The people of these groups have been struggling for their rights for years and with the growing age and cultures, people have eventually started realising how wrongly the constitution and laws have been working on these cases.
We see people from these groups discriminated on so many grounds- from jobs, equal participation, salary pay and whatnot. This discrimination is certainly not fair as every person has the right to live the way they are. The gender of a person is the most natural thing which does not lie in one’s hand to be changed or “curated” as is said by many hypocrites. Discriminating for something which is not in their hands to be changed is the worst thing that can be done to a person’s life.
We have heard so many cases of violence against people from these groups. The kind of violence they have faced is so horrifying to be even heard of. People actually treat the people from this group with immense disrespect that they forget they are actually human beings. The police in India have never been supportive of the group until now when finally the law that criminalised the same-sex relations, that is, section 377 under the Indian penal code has been demolished.
This step was certainly remarked as an achievement toward the development of the nation. Since then, open display of affection among the same genders has been found common in the country and many moves like same-sex marriage, etc. have taken place. This is definitely one of the best accomplishment that has happened in the country in the last decade.
Even though laws have been changed and the country is moving forward, the majority of Indians have still found it hard to accept the people of this community as normal human beings. Many of them point out their way of being as a disease that these people have. There have been cases where people actually take their children or relatives who they come to know are gay to doctors and ask them to treat this so-called “disease”. The shift in the mentality of such people is the need of the hour. This mentality demands to be changed in order to develop our country.
Some people accuse the abolishment of section 377 as to have been influenced by western culture. Our epics of Hindu mythology do not support consensual relations between people of the same gender. They treat these people as someone with lower dignity who does not need to be treated with respect. Changing this mentality is the real task today. No matter how many laws come and go, the mentality prevails. Even when mentalities are changed, acceptance of these people as normal individuals comes out to be a difficult task for people. People use words like “gay” or “trans” as something which can be used to make fun of others.
People from these communities face numerous accusations every day. They are bullied for being themself and are mostly asked to hide their actual identities by their own family members.
This bullying does not stop in the virtual world as well when people make memes and content on social media to make fun of these people. They are harassed and people have no idea what they must go through when they see such things.
It is high time we realise that all the discrimination that the community has faced till now is over and we must accept and celebrate all beings in this world. The people of this community are as normal as any other person and we must embrace them and make sure that each of these people lives their life with as much happiness as any straight person does.
Celebrating pride month is a way of exhibiting support to the community and making sure that the discrimination faced by them is over and we have to work towards bringing a change in the mentalities of the people who do not support them. We should feel proud in this pride month to have embarked the beautiful acceptance of these beautiful living beings in this world and at the same time acknowledge that we have a long way to go.