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Being LGBTQ in India: is it safe?

Being LGBTQ in India: is it safe?

People in Delhi , Mumbai and Bangalore draped themselves in rainbow flags and paraded on the streets celebrating victory when the constitution decriminalised homosexuality.

However, acceptance within families and society still remains a distant dream.

With the streaming of more and more programmes related to LGBT awareness, people, especially in rural India have started to realize LGBT rights. Though, the acceptance majorly resides with the youth only.

Through studies and reports, it has been concluded that breaking the news to the family is a nightmare. The families in both urban & rural area have their own ways of dealing with the situation. Cases of honour killing and suicides take up headlines in newspapers every now and then. Lesbians are forced to marry and start a family against their will.

Being gay or lesbian is considered a disease and babas in villages prescribe rape or sexual abuse to cure them from homosexuality. A lot of people spend their whole lives hiding their sexuality fearing the family pressure and disapproval.

Coming out with the true identity has made people lose their jobs, houses and families. Not just finances, it has made people lose their psychological stability and peace.

“I hope one day nobody has to choose between their family and happiness. The day we’ll even welcome debate on equal rights is probably a few decades away, and by then, I fear, we might have lost a lot of souls.” – Anonymous, Transgender.

Discussing sexuality or gender identity with your parents still remain a taboo. Children are either shushed or ignored when they talk. It becomes the moral duty of parents to talk openly about such importance issues and educate their children.

“I came out to both my parents and my mom yelled at me. She slapped me and asked, what was wrong with me”- Anonymous, Gay.

Speaking of society as a whole, there are multiple online platforms like Gaysi where LGBT people can communicate and connect with each other. TV shows and various campaigns are supporting the cause #LoveIsLove.

Brands like Ola, Swiggy, Burger King have proudly shared the rainbow flags in their posts showcasing their support.

Penetration of social media in more areas will help enlighten the public about the experiences and struggles of LGBT. If more and more brand leverage on the power of social media, the country will become a much safer place.

ManFriday, June 29, 2019

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