After the tragedy in Orlando, many around the world are going back into the closet. Closer home where morality is the biggest issue, and coming out to family is quite rare, we’re not even ready to openly discuss the topic of homosexuality yet. Though Section 377 criminalises “unnatural sex”, it is social acceptance that is more important.
As someone who is pansexual, Pranith feels that a strong connection is crucial to attraction, not gender. “Homophobia is a major issue. Young people are very accepting and anybody who isn’t, is bullied into tolerance if not acceptance. We need to sensitise the older generation towards the issue,” he suggests.
Though technology has made it easier to find partners, Ananya (name changed), a student, says being careful is important. “As a bisexual, I meet interesting people on Tinder. But on one occasion, when I had met a girl, it ended up being a porki guy with a fake account,” she says irritably.
Like many others who moved to the city from other states, Mona (name changed), a lesbian, says it is because of the open culture here. “Legal and emotional guidance is easily available here. Almost everybody is accepting, with even pubs letting us in,” she says.
The local LGBTQ community comes together only for Pride Parades. “But different support groups like ‘Good as you’ for gays, ‘Maya for Women’ meet often,” says Abhishek, a designer, who adds that in Bengaluru, homophobia also exists within the gays too.
“Before people were aware of Section 377, everything was easy. But now cops and goons are misusing it to harass everyone. The journey ahead is painful,” he confesses.
Coming out is still a very tough predicament. “If a homosexual decides to seek professional help to deal with coming out, most therapists are not able to help them as they can’t relate to it. The numerous stereotypes and misconceptions about the community is the sole reason,” says psychologist, Vishnu.
— Rachanaa Raaj...