Our multicoloured hypocritical faces

The legalisation of same-sex marriage in all US states was indeed a big step towards equality, freedom and acceptance of the rights of the LGBT community. People across the world hailed the landmark decision taken by the US Supreme Court which  is an affirmation of the rights of the ‘third gender’.

So, how did we in this country react? Multicolour filters over the profile pictures on Facebook and Instagram, with captions and hashtags ‘Celebrating Love/Pride’ dominated the socail media scene in India.

While Indians, especially teenagers, celebrated unbounded love; somewhere within closed doors, hypocrisy smiled at the suddenly ‘acquired liberal mindsets of our people on social and virtual platforms’. Because, the stark truth is, we still have a long way to go before we can rid ourselves of our innate prejudices. Metrolife conversed with a cross-section of people, who had a grey picture to paint about our apparent happiness towards LGBT rights, as opposed to the colourful one we are currently sporting.

“All of my friends seemed so happy because of the constitutionalisation of gay marriage in the United States. However, only a few of them really do understand the meaning behind the same, or are real supporters of homosexuality. Others are just trying to look cool,” Sanya Juneja, a DU student tells Metrolife.

Asked to explain why she feels so, Juneja says, “If we see an actual gay person amidst us, we snigger and make fun of him, his body language and identity. We taunt and humiliate him at the expense of our humour. Even the word “gay” is synonymous with words like “cowardly” and “stupid” for us. We often hear someone being called “gay” for things as insignificant as wearing a pink shirt. And the worst part is that it’s meant as an insult for not being manly enough.”

Such patriarchal and homophobic remarks and behaviour, tell us how much further we have to go before we can be classified as enlightened citizens, she adds.  

Archita Narang* a Class 11 student, spoke about her coming out of the closet as a bisexual.
“I came out in front of my friends and classmates a month ago. My close friends took it very normally and nicely. I was the same to them as before. However, the news spread like wildfire amongst the other sections, and soon there were boys passing rude comments at me like ‘give us some lesbian action’ or ‘become a porn star’. I was hurt. People like me don’t need special treatments or rights.

We just need normality and acceptance. And that’s hard to get here,” Narang tells Metrolife sadly. Another example of our hypocrisy is how while we celebrate the ‘power and equality of love’ through the change in US laws, we still haven’t gotten rid of the concept of same caste marriage which is a hindrance to the same.

“Muticolour dp valo...pehle apni marzi se shaadi karke dikhao” is a trending picture on the internet.  Harjas Singh Gulati, a student of Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies, DU, talks about the changes we need to incorporate in the Indian mindset.

“People here are celebrating this grand victory regarding gay rights, however we do so on a very surfaced level. If we look at it on a deeper level, the United States of America, through this decision, proclaimed to the world that there people are free to wed and be with their partners, regardless of their sex. Now, I know it is not easy to make laws here, but at least we could open our minds. If people there can live according to their sexual preferences, we too should also be able to do the same here with even our religious, ideological and career preferences.”

However, some people believe that even small steps should not be ignored. “Hypocrisy is, no doubt quite prevalent in our community but people are becoming aware, liberal and vocal about their stands, slowly. Such kind of people are few in number but these are the ones who’ll bring the change in our country,” Yashwant Kumar, a banker, tells Metrolife.

Yes, we need change and we need it fast. But laws don’t account for everything; it’s
the mindset that needs to change first.
(Names have been changed to respect the identity of the persons interviewed)

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