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Long road of acceptance for LGBTQ+

Their slogan was: “Meye-Meye Prem Korechhe!! Besh Korechhe Besh Korechhe!! Chhele-Chhele Prem Korechhe!! Besh Korechhe Besh Korechhe!!”

Debanjana Banerjee | Kolkata |

“Gender preference does not define you, your spirit does.”

A huge part of the so called “modern” Indian society is still miles away from happily accepting the LGBT people. Despite India having a population of 1.3 billion (approx.), the LGBT community is still marginalised and mistreated.

Most LGBT people in India remain closeted, fearing discrimination from their families, who might see homosexuality as shameful. They often face rejection from their families and are forced for opposite-sex marriages. Today, homosexuality and queer identities may be acceptable to more Indian youths than ever before but within the boundaries of families, homes and schools, acceptance still remains a constant struggle.

Discrimination against the LGBT community is highly prevalent. They are looked down upon all the time. People’s prejudices lead them to think that LGBT people are “unnatural”. But one thing the society needs to understand is that, being L, G, B or T is neither a “problem”, nor is it a “choice” as such. They are as “normal” as any heterosexual human being.

If normal men and women have the right to live in this society with respect then why not a person who belongs to the LGBT can live in this society with equal respect? Another question lingers, why are the queers labelled as “abnormal”, whereas the heterosexuals are “normal”? Some people deny the LGBT society saying, “Our religion doesn’t support this perversion”.  But, is it really about what the religion says? Isn’t what humanity says, more crucial?

LGBT, an initialism that stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, is in use since 1990s. But a question mark remains. What’s the point in coining a term for them, when the so called “liberal” society cannot even do the bare minimum by accepting them?

 

Through ‘Romeo and Juliet’, Shakespeare says:

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose

By any other name would smell as sweet.”

This means, what really matters is the essential quality and not the name. Similarly, a person’s sexual preferences cannot and should not define the kind of person he/she is.

The orthodoxy, that is still prevalent in the society, deters the queer from unfurling their minds. Even in the contemporary society, they hardly find an equal footing without having to hide their identity.

After the verdict of Honourable Supreme Court in favour of LGBTQ+ love and sex on September 6, 2018 many strides of improvement are being made for the LGBTQ+ society. The queer people are now given opportunity officially to compete with others in different fields. Many NGOs and organizations are working for the welfare of this community. But a kind of prejudice among the common people against this community remains.

It’s high time; the society must be educated about the feelings and emotions of the queer people. They are as normal as the heterosexuals. They too need love and acceptance. The entire society must come forward to embrace the members of the LGBT community as normal human beings.

To fulfil this purpose, the students of Jadavpur University has recently organised a “Pride Parade” to celebrate love. Hundreds of people joined the Parade from JU World View to Golpark. A heart-warming musical performance was also made in front of Jadavpur Thana (Jadavpur Police Station). They sang songs like “Amar Haath Bandhibi” and “Saiyaan”, about the freedom to love. The queer community came together through music and dance. The “Pride Parade” got support from alumni, teachers and students of prominent medical colleges like R.G. Kar Medical College and Hospital.

The students expressed themselves in the most innovative ways. Some had rainbow painted on their faces, lips, hands. Some were found wearing rainbow coloured dresses. Their slogan was: “Meye-Meye Prem Korechhe!! Besh Korechhe Besh Korechhe!! Chhele-Chhele Prem Korechhe!! Besh Korechhe Besh Korechhe!!” Their “Pride Parade” was about love and acceptance. It was a celebration of love.