|From Delhi day of Rage, Protest 377|
With the recent Indian Supreme Court verdict reinstating verdict 377, the criminalization of sexual acts “against the laws of nature,” including homosexual sex many, like me, were shocked and angry. I’ve since had many discussions with friends and family regarding the significance and weight of verdict 377, looking at how it doesn’t just affect gays, but every single person of consensual age, and how it violates basic freedoms and denies human rights.
India, like many countries in the East, believe that homosexuality is a concept born from the West, and that this Western concept has no place in Indian society. However, this is historically incorrect for India and Hindustani, as gays and others of the third sex (Tritiya-Prakriti) have been regarded as equals; they have been able to own property, shops, and live harmoniously with others. These have even continued into recent history, with Nepal decriminalizing homosexuality in 2007. Since then, over sixty LGBT individuals have run for various government offices. In Bangladesh and Pakistan, there have been greater advancements in the recognition and equality for those of the third sex (Hijira, or eunuchs).
As activists around the globe, including myself, rallied together to protest and show our support and solidarity in the face of the 377 verdict, Bollywood stars have come out and voiced their opinions against the decision. Many actors, actresses, and directors have made statements calling for change in the governmental mindset towards homosexuality. They follow the theme that everyone should be treated equally, and have the same rights as others as well as the freedom to love whoever they choose. With so many conservative and “Victorian” views on diversity and homosexuality, these voices show there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Even with this verdict, change will happen.
|From Delhi's Day of Rage Rally|
In the West, we may not be able to fathom our rights being taken away and being treated like a criminal, or being able to break the law by whom you choose to love in your bedroom. With the growing equality of marriage and in the work place, the LGBT still struggles. Some states still have anti-sodomy laws, as well as laws against anal sex. While we may not face the life changing punishments like castrations, jail time, and hard labor, many in the East still do. And beyond that, the simple fact of being homosexual can be used to blackmail individuals, for being who they are.
|Facebook took down this picture of Kanwar Abit Singh Saini, a 32 year old gay sikh.|
Many of us living in the West have ties to India; tell me how the 377 verdict has had an effect on you, or your friends and peers. And be sure to check out a few pictures below from rallies and protests around the word, one of which is iconic. Check out the light hearted video starring Bollywood actor Imran Khan, which addresses some of those questions that straight people ask and wonder about homosexuality. And as always, rate, comment, share, like, and enjoy! Thank you for reading. XOXO
|From Washington Dc Rally of Solidarity on 377|
The video is quite funny but also educational, a must see!