“Coming out of the closet is not easy
when everyone wants you to hide and conceal your true identity.
Being different is definitely a rebellious act in a world
which is dominated by stagnant notions of existence,
but then again, that is their problem, not ours.”
In another event to celebrate the gender and sexuality expressions of every individual, the first ever Gurgaon Queer Pride 2016 was organized on 25th June 2016. An event that marked the beginning of a struggle that lays ahead of us if we want to remove the shackles of constricted thoughts from our society.
The beauty of such events is the diversity of people you get to see and for those two hours, people were being themselves without hiding in a veil that others want to see. It had many happy faces, or as a matter of fact, genuine faces who were thrilled to express themselves.
The event which was held at the Leisure Valley Park had colorful balloons and the symbol of the LGBT community – rainbow flag. The event started with performances which included an open mic, music, and even poetry recitals. Poetries that were written by people when they were 15 years old to the ones which raised the question that everyone is asking today – how can you silence the voices of many?
After the recital and the performances by individuals who wanted to speak for themselves and share their story with everyone, there was a walk held through the park holding the rainbow flag. The flag is not only a symbol of the LGBT community but it also symbolizes what they stand for – diversity. Slogans of “No going back” and “Gurgaon ab door nahi” were shouted with zest and vigour. After the walk, everyone lighted candles in the memory of the victims of the Orlando shooting.
The violence and the backlash the LGBT community have faced in the past years is no surprise. It is one thing to legalize their existence but the grave concern of the hour is acceptance. How many people are actually ready to accept the LGBT community?
The pride saw the turnout of many youths who are not shying away from their reality. They have come full circle with the truth about their identity and they believed it is only a matter of time when the entire nation will sit back and take notice. “It’s been quite a while since we have been trying to change it but I think it’s a long fight ahead of us. The narrow-mindedness of Indians cannot not be just changed within a generation. It is going to take a long time for them to realize that it’s not a disease,” said Shivam, a student who has just completed 12th standard and is planning to take up psychology in college.
He also said, “Most of the countries have actually accepted that it is happening. India is way behind.” And it is true, same-sex marriage has already been legalized in Ireland, US, UK, Canada, South Africa, France and New Zealand. The rainbow flag was not only waved in Gurgaon yesterday, thousands marched in the same-sex marriage rallies held in Australia. However, the difference was that Australia is way ahead and they might even get same-sex marriage legalized by the end of this year when a new party gets elected on July 2.
Everyone is not as liberal as the people who gathered at the Gurgaon Queer Pride. Violence and hate crime against the LGBT community has been rampant in our society and the 49 radical queers who were killed in the Orlando shooting were just a few of many. Another similar event of violence took place in Mexico.
But, there is hope in our nation and everywhere else. People are supporting the LGBT community and we have come to a place where they are no longer hiding their identity. One of the most successful endeavor to help the LGBT community and bring them to the fore is the Wings Rainbow, a radio taxi service which gives employment to the LGBT community of Mumbai. It was started earlier this year.
The will and strength of the LGBT community are unwavering and they have a spirit which is indomitable. They are ready to fight the battle which may not reap fruits for them, but they would be happy if the coming generations would get to taste freedom. Isn’t humanity all about it? Looking out for each other! So, why attach the inhumane concept of “against natural order” to the existence of these people. This is the reason why Section 377 needs to be scrapped. The section which is infamous for not only criminalizing sexual intercourse between people of the same sex but also for dating back to the British rule in India! Britain has already moved on and legalized same-sex marriage, then what is India waiting for?
A long fight indeed, but everything good comes after a long struggle and at least people who support the LGBT community are increasing. It is only a matter of time before the government heeded to their demands and the conventional people stopped using an archaic law to discriminate, assault or attack the community that proudly chooses to be different.
Not everyone will be standing to face the sunshine because some people choose the dark and hide in its abyss and ignorance. But little do they know that the sunshine is helping them embrace the myriad colors of the rainbow.