Among the many vestiges of colonialism left behind in Indian soil was the very infamous and abominable law prescribed under Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code. It is surprising that a law as inhumane as this managed to thrive for 158 years in a secular nation.
The law had a set of very serious words placed provocatively that managed to cause immeasurable pain to the LGBTQ community for years. The word unnatural which is used to describe any carnal intercourse between people of same sex is itself an irony thrown at nature.
No religion, God, or even the Universe demands a person to be treated unfairly on the basis on their individual opinions, sexual orientation too being one. But in a country known for its rich cultural beliefs and reserved perspectives on identity, LGTBQ activism is still an unachieved feat. A law may be abolished, penalty be imposed, but none of that can bring about acceptance which didn’t previously exist in the society. This requires a lot of spreading of awareness on the government’s side.
Conversion therapy isn’t a tabloid feature anymore. It is very real in our country. It involves pseudo-scientific treatments that intend to change a person’s sexual orientation or their gender identity. These may be in the form of counselling, medication or even extreme measures like current-shock therapy or hormonal castration. The trauma it imposes on the victims is barbaric. It leads to years of questioning one’s own identity, lack of self-esteem, fear towards public, depression and even suicidal thoughts. If there’s anything to be “converted” it is the minds of a few self-entitled individuals who assume that their heterosexuality gives them the right to exercise homophobia.
When Dutee Chand became the country’s fastest sprinter she took the stage to come out as India’s first openly gay athlete. Her family had disowned her and she was quoted saying, “I was tired of living in fear”.
An individual deserves at least the bare minimum of rights: to be treated fairly, receive employment, medical benefits and most importantly the free will to marry someone they love and adopt children. It is never too late or impossible to create change that spreads kindness and love.
#inclusivity #acceptance #iimtrichy #PRISM_IIMT