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  • Writer's pictureSrijana Ghosh

Pride through India's eyes

Women & Design // Srijana Ghosh

Life for queer people hasn't improved in the four years since the section 377 bill was repealed. A 2.5-star experience for the queer folk sparks a debate about how things should have gone.

In a dystopian universe, vibrant, introspective empowering parades with floats and celebrities, blissful festivals, workshops, picnics and parties, and displays of affection amongst the same sex living a very peaceful life — a life of their own that almost feels like a dream fading in just for most would not be surprising.

It's been four years since the section 377 IPC statute, which had previously criminalized

homosexual activity, was rescinded, ending its term and bringing triumph for the LGBTQIA+ community. The movement has ascended in history as the greatest victory putting an end to all of this community's hardships. As much as I'd like to believe it, this isn't the case. The fight for equality is far from done; the circumstances may have changed marginally, but the lives and existence of these closeted people pose a challenge.

More people have come forward since declaring themselves as one with the community, either by adding a label to themselves as who they believe they are or as an ally, in the debates and discussions on the internet over social media. But the real question is how have they fared amidst their own country's struggles? A 2.5-star rating is best described by the queer folks based on their experiences. They were overjoyed to receive love and support from loved ones who openly applauded them upon coming out; for some, strangers filled that hole for them saying, "I'm proud of you," when their families failed to do so.

In a reformative society, it is progressive to see that being gay isn't any “hush” word or a secret mission that needs to be kept hidden from the world anymore. Some of the stares they receive are when they try to revolt naturally by expressing themselves differently either through their clothing or doing makeup that is tabooed or frowned upon which makes the heterosexual hostility clear.

Harassment by law enforcers, as well as discriminating behavior by antis who are absorbed in their beliefs, regressing to their ancient doctrines, is nothing new. Even though social media has been a great advocate for vocalizing their ideas and thoughts it also comes with its downside where homophobic people can often slide by making derogatory remarks.

“Amra Odbhuth” an LGBTQ friendly cafe in Kolkata

More public safe spaces, such as cafes and restaurants, gardens, queer-friendly clubs, pride marches, and film festivals, have been introduced, bringing more inclusivity and diversity. Queer-centered Gen Z television shows are informative and have an intriguing backstory rather than a comedic approach. The trivial issue is the necessity for everyone to be educated, which is what pride month is all about - a self-proclamation of one's fundamental rights, such as their right to exist in public, and a method to educate people on how it isn't just a phase or a trend, but a way of life for many.

Author : Srijana Ghosh

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