“Ladies-ladies kaise shaadi kar sakti hai? nahi kar sakti!” (How can women get married to each other, they can’t.), was the reaction of a woman selling vegetables in the weekly bazaar when asked for her opinion on gay marriages.
This point of view, as we clearly know it, isn’t restricted to villages and the less developed areas. It’s not that the answer would have been much different if put to a woman getting into her SUV outside her home in a posh South Delhi locality.
The cosmopolitan, free-thinking progressive people residing in the metropolitans too suffer from the misunderstanding that being gay is like being sick, and should be cured.
In Jamaica four men having dinner in a house were trapped and brutally assaulted by people coz they were thought to be gay.
India doesn’t seem to be in a better place either. Even after the Delhi High court decriminalised section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, the union ministry has shown objection to it.
The Additional Solicitor general called homosexuality unnatural, immoral and acts a catalyst in the spread of diseases like AIDS. This sheer ignorance towards those who probably need extra attention and affection is sheer fatal.
This thought goes back, long back in time and the society of any and every culture has given their take on homosexuality. It has also evolved and developed over time; but countries like India seem to have stagnated at the same place and refuse to budge from their comfortable seat of bigotry.
The thought that a man and a woman complete each other has been stolen from the cheesy fairytales and hopelessly romantic movies and stuck in the face of real life. Anything outside this bubble of perfection is abnormal, is unnatural.
The stares and glares either gender get for not having the ‘accepted’ body language or dressing sense pushes them into a small hole, a hole of fear, helplessness and disdain. We live in a society that associates sex with guilt.
Live in relationships are considered bad, the chemist may judge you for buying a pack of condoms, to open up about one’s relationship to one’s parents is a risk and marriage is the solution and license to everything!
The perception is that gay marriages go against how God intended it, how nature intends it. The purpose of marriage is to be able to produce children and gay marriages defy that purpose. Then please tell me what about those straight people who are infertile?
Well let me bring you to light and tell you that the purpose of marriage is procreation and not reproduction, for heaven’s sake!
In a culture where sex talks are done in a hush-hush manner, to be able to create a positive atmosphere around homosexuality is just next level! Our society takes heterosexuality for granted, which is why being gay comes as a surprise to us.
When sexuality is only so difficult to talk about in our society, how do we deal with alternate sexuality?
The ones who seem okay with homosexuality too tend to say that ‘we are okay with the gay community’. Why label them as a separate community?
Why can’t we live in a homogenous world where a person’s sexual preference doesn’t become a pass for in or out? In the gay community itself, there are many gay men who have a problem with those other gay men whose body language is feminine.
A strong reason for this is the patriarchal society that we live in, that mocks a man who is not masculine.
There have been many instances where religious societies forced gays into thinking that they are perverts, bad and sinful people. Ramdev claims to cure homosexuality through yoga. He can also perhaps cure the craze that people have for money making religious gurus!
But a society is always secondary in moulding a person’s personality and behaviour. The gurus or the Church, the uncles and aunts don’t matter at first. The ones who first touch our hearts and minds is always our family.
And thus the role of parents, before anyone else is crucial in how a child would perceive him/herself. Many parents of gay people have said that Section 377 is a threat to family values.
There are several real life examples of men and women who’ve hated themselves because their family didn’t accept them for who they were and have been forced into committing suicide; more astonishingly joint suicides! It is for parents and friends to fathom that being gay is normal and support their closed ones.
But read this! 19 parents moved to Supreme Court to stop state from criminalising gays. Well one would’ve called it a normal phenomenon, but given the current circumstances, it was a brave move.
To accept your kinds for whom they are instead of imposing the big rule book written by the virtuosos of the society, is well applaudable.
So take something from these 19 proud parents and don’t hide behind closed doors and don’t encourage that thought either. There are more than 3 million gay people in India. The black dingy hole is too small to fit in the number of gays in this world.
The cork ought to burst open one day and the society may not be able to bear the pressure. So let out. Curbing has never been the solution to anything. Let the noise of conversation fill the air; you may debate but don’t bail out yet! It is after all about a citizen’s democratic right to choose. Sexual orientation is a human right.
I may be no one to send out public requests but all those who think homosexuality is unethical; for a change don’t try to change gays, change youself. It is easier and a lot more gratifying.