It was an afternoon peppered with unbridled excitement, relief and impromptu jubilation. The abolishment of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, as per the Supreme Court’s verdict on Thursday, which decriminalised consensual gay sex marks a new era in Indian history. The landmark and game-changing decision has been lauded the world over. Yet, while the law backs the community and frees its members from the fear of legal repercussions, there’s a long way ahead before a full stop is put to the stigma and phobia. Or so they believe. We spoke to a few members LGBT community on their views on how this ground breaking law will change things on the ground.
“The law is undoubtedly revolutionary, and much-needed. However, the phobia will reduce by a certain degree, only if more people get to know that the community is doing regular work. We are contributing to the country, it’s economy.
That is very important because as a community member, few people have highlighted this to me as well. I feel, if this knowledge gets spread across, things will start looking up for us. The evolution and acceptance will be quicker. The law is scrapped, and there are going to be policies regarding adoption, marriage or insurance. In order to implement all these things, we need people to accept us for who we are in the first place,” opines Siddhant Kodlekere, a member of the LGBT community, who currently works at IBM India Pvt Ltd.
Stressing further, Siddhant adds that this would go a long way in making people more aware of how the LGBT community is contributing to the country. “How the LGBT community has always been a part of it, and how to make sure India progresses at all levels. There is awareness. But, people are treating it as a superficial thing, nobody is digging deeper into the entire issue of the LGBT community. As I said, and as Keshav Suri pointed out, and reiterating that, there needs to be more awareness about the how the Pink Economy is contributing in more ways that one can imagine.”
Young Bengalurean Alex Mathew aka Maya, the Drag Queen believes the verdict gives a breather to both closet homosexuals and well as those open about it. “I won’t be lying — I’ve been open about my sexuality since 2014. Despite being open about it, and willing to perform as a drag queen, I wasn’t given the stage. I have also lost two jobs because of my revelation. So, yes, this comes as a silver lining to those who’ve suffered in silence, and even otherwise. Of course, there is going to be a certain section or group that will still take time to process this, and accept us. But I believe it comes as a sigh of relief to those who’ve had no qualms about their sexuality but yet were perturbed about the legal repercussions. But, there’s so much more to this we are yet to have touched upon aspects like marriage equality, adoption, parenting through surrogacy and a host of other issues. It’s a happy start, and as long as naysayers and haters are concerned, I feel bad about their ignorance, because it is only due to
their ignorance that they have developed an aversion towards a community that has done no harm to them. As long as they’re not paying my bills, I’m okay with them thinking whatever they wish to,” he concludes.