Out of the closet and the country?

Members of the LGBT community feel it is better to leave India than be called 'criminals'.

Hyderabad: Following the Supreme Court’s judgement against homosexuality, many members of the LGBT community say that they have no choice but to leave the country. Although, the trend has been around for a while, the ruling is all set to fuel the trend as the first signs of frustration have started to show online.

City designer and advocacy director with Human Rights Observers Ganesh Nallari took to Facebook to vent his ire.

“I’m good as you and up for adoption, people living in the following countries please get in touch. Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Canada, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Iceland, Mexico Netherlands, Denmark, New Zealand, France Brazil, Uruguay,” wrote Ganesh.

Speaking to DC, he said, “Everybody who is concerned about me is asking why I continue to stay here. They think I would be better off in places that are more open to how I am.”

“When I came back from Milan in 2007, it was with the intention of coming back and doing something for the country. I wanted to build something and create employment. I did not think about my personal life when I moved back. But now it comes down to having a clear conscious. If I am being labeled a criminal, can I really live here?”

City make-up artist, Sachin Dakoji, also posted online, “Is this democracy? Shame on the country that sends its so called ‘juvenile’ rapists to a safe haven, and turns us criminals! Why? For loving and living, and wanting to be equal like all? Will they succeed in wiping us out from the country? So it may be culturally ‘shudh’. Then let us all perish for our Mahan Bharat!”

Activists have observed the need to migrate for years and say it will be fuelled further. “Over many years, we have seen children as young as 16 travelling to UK or Europe for studies.

And parents don’t hear from them for at least a few years. It was only later we found out that these closeted teens are fleeing persecution back home in India. Many don’t look back,” says social worker Meghana Shetty.

The migration will be fuelled by European countries offering asylum to the oppressed and to minorities. As recently as November 7, an EU court ruled that gays and lesbians persecuted in other countries had the right to asylum in Europe.

Jayanti Mathur, a working professional and ex-president and currently a member of Wajood Society, says, “People will move out and are especially considering Europe. And honestly, patriotic feelings and such sound good only in talks. But the love for the country really stems from the way a country accepts and treats its people and their choices.”

Activists, writers and even celebs who are abroad are also Tweeting their affirmation to never return. Feminist writer Shridhar Sadasivan posted on Twitter: “My mom calls me crying and tells me never come back to India #IPC377 #377Updates”.

City girl Kalindi Hendrix lives abroad and recently got married to her girlfriend. Her mother, Lata Kapadia, who even attended the “beautiful ceremony” in the US, says, “I would have been so worried if she was in India. I can be at peace, now that she is in a place where it is not only accepted, but also legal.”

G. Krishna, an activist from Hyderabad, says, “I’m right now at a protest in New Delhi and yes, there are hundreds here discussing their way out of the country.

The top court has turned us into criminals. We’re citizens. But they’re now comparing us with rapists and murderers.

Homosexuals are people too but no... Parliament, the political parties and even the legal system has let us down. This, despite years of discussions and debates and just when we thought that the law might rule favourably. There’s not much hope for us now.

“But that said, there are a thousand others who’ve sworn to fight till their deaths for freedom and equal rights. This is not the end of our fight,” he adds.

Filmmaker and gay rights activist Sridhar Rangayan also says that there is still a lot of hope for the fight to continue.

“Although migration may seem like a good option, India is not so bad, at least there is no aggression against the community. The Supreme Court’s ruling was a setback but that doesn’t mean the fight is over.”

( Source : dc )
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