The crazy little thing called love!

LGBT concerns

The date, 11 December, flashes back the memories of that unfortunate day when the Supreme Court of India overturned Delhi High Court’s 2009 judgement that declared Section 377 unconstitutional,” recalls Ritika Mitr, a transgender, as she took part in a protest against the ruling on February 11 at Jantar Mantar.

“I will take part in protest on every 11th of a month till we are given justice,” she affirms.

The year 2013 saw sweeping changes across the globe, to the extent that same-sex marriages were legalised in countries such as France, Brazil, England and Wales. But, by the end of 2013, the LGBT community in India faced a setback as the Supreme Court upheld Section 377, recriminalising homosexuality. In Valentine’s week, when the Capital is wrapped in hues of love, Metrolife speaks to the LGBT community to understand their idea of love in the midst of these testing times.

“Though I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day, I think it is a wonderful and promising opportunity if everybody expresses their freedom of love despite all odds---be it caste, colour or sexuality. It should celebrate the freedom from the regressive judgements of SC, Khap Panchayats or anybody who suppresses love. Otherwise, just buying expensive gifts is overt commercialisation of the idea of St. Valentine’s Day; definitely a lost opportunity when it comes to celebrating love,” said Akhil Katyal, a member of Delhi Queer Pride and an assistant professor of English at Shiv Nadar University sharing his views on Valentine’s Day.

In its sixth edition, Delhi Queer Pride’s 2013 parade in November was a splendid affair, bringing together people from all walks of life in the Capital. In the wake of the Supreme Court  ruling, will they be deprived of celebrating V-Day overtly? “A hijra
on a street, a gay, affluent, English-speaking professor like me or a lesbian looking out for a rented accommodation, all of us are impacted as the SC ruling touches different people in different ways. But in every way it compromises our sense of dignity and citizenship.”

Ritika Mitr, transgender and NGO worker simply mocks at the idea of V-Day, “The whole drama of ‘propose day to hug day’ is a waste of time and money,” adding good humouredly, “Did I just lost out on an invite for a party?”

Shunning all labels of sexuality, Ankush Buhiyan, an art and aesthetics student from JNU, identifies himself as queer. Despising the idea of Valentine’s Day, he asserts, “V-Day is a 20th century invention. My friends and I look at such occasions rather skeptically. Why celebrate only one kind of love? Perhaps I am not against V-Day, I am against what it has come to be in popular imagination.”

He describes V-Day as ‘just another day, a day that advocates the hetero normative idea of love, the love that can only exist between a man and a woman.”

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