Finding The Cause And Cure For Homophobia In India

From ancient times to the present, homosexuality has been a topic of debate in India. Regarding homosexual characters and themes, Hindu texts have taken a variety of perspectives. 

The Rigveda, one of Hinduism’s four sacred books, declares “Vikriti Evam Prakriti” (what appears unnatural is also natural), which some scholars believe acknowledges homosexual aspects of human life, as well as all types of universal diversity. 

Vatsyayana’s ancient Indian classic Kamasutra dedicates an entire chapter to erotic homosexual behaviour.

Homosexuality has been popular throughout history in the Indian subcontinent, according to historical literary evidence, and homosexuals were not necessarily regarded inferior in any sense until the 18th century, during British colonial authority. 

During the Mughal Empire, however, male homosexual intercourse was criminal by flogging or stoning under the Islamic law of Fatawa ‘Alamgiri

On September 6, 2018, a five-judge constitutional bench of India’s Supreme Court struck down a portion of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, thus legalizing homosexuality in the country.

But even after viewing all the historical evidence, homosexuality in India remains taboo! 

From the British Raj, India has completely seen complete segregation of the “LGBTQ hijra” community. 

And do you know what’s wrong here? 

It’s the fact that the word “hijra” which is commonly used in India to define the LGBTQ people is just a word to name them!

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It is instead used more as an insult and a slur than just to define some people! 

Is it wrong to be different?

Why is it that Indians who talk about getting liberal, modern and developed, still discriminate to such an extent?

Where the differences are completely a natural phenomenon and happen due to hormonal structures, people still insist on claiming that those people are different, are inferior, and aren’t humans!

LGBTQ Around The World And India

“Queerness is now a global phenomenon. 

Whether in advertising, movies, performing arts, the internet or the political discourses of human rights in emerging democracies, images of queer sexualities and cultures today circulate the globe”. 

With this understanding, one might reasonably ask, if queerness has now gone global, which brand of queerness has gone global?

In recent years, many NGOs and civil society institutions in India have become increasingly active in mainstreaming sexually minority populations. 

  • Advocating for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people (hereinafter LGBTs)
  • Campaigning against laws that discriminate against them
  • Filing public petitions to have such laws repealed
  • And efforts to normalize the recognition and acceptance of LGBT identity categories in India are examples of mainstreaming efforts.

In contrast to this activism, a significant portion of Indian society believes that such mainstreaming initiatives endanger the country’s social, cultural, and moral foundation. 

This philosophy is held by both left and right, Marxist academics and right-wing extreme Hindu nationalist groups, a significant portion of India’s working bureaucracy, including a large percentage of the country’s 700 million rural inhabitants. 

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Prejudice and Degradation

Homophobia, stigma (negative and usually unfair ideas), and discrimination (unfairly treating a person or group of people) against gay, bisexuals, and those intimate with the same sex are all common in India, and they can have a severe impact on this community’s health and well-being.

These negative ideas and acts can have an impact on the LGBTQ community’s physical and mental health, as well as their ability to seek and receive health services and the quality of those treatments.

The worst thing about the Indian population is their mentality. 

Our mentality has been wrong on many social issues, whether it’s about women’s clothes, unfair treatment of men nowadays, or well homosexuality.

People are backward to an extent that when a girl declares that she’s lesbian, Indian men claim that she only thinks that way because she hasn’t met the correct man yet!

Sounds unbelievable right? Well, read about the story here.  

Nowadays it’s common among homophobes to think that if they put homosexuals down, it’ll make them look cool! 

We’ll never be able to understand the reason for this but the mentality that putting down a section of society will give them power is nothing but ridiculous! 

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Who are people to judge or stand against nature unless it is harmful? 

What people need to understand is that there are infinite issues out there that will appreciate their attention! 

Putting homosexuals down won’t make them cool but standing up for justice will! 

Advocating a cure for homosexuality will not “treat” the society but spreading awareness about homosexuality to common people will!!!

What Are We Lacking? 

When it comes down to major problems in Indian society, the first thing that comes to mind is our flawed education system.

When talking about the LGBTQ community, the sexualities of these people are different. 

There are transexual, queers, pansexual, asexual, and these are different from the normalized gays that are used as slurs among our people!

Forget about identifying these people, what can we expect from a society that doesn’t even know how to differentiate between the different sexualities?

The sad fact isn’t just that our people are unaware of this fact but the phenomenon where our education system is unwilling to properly teach matters relating to sexuality.

Where sex education remains the talk of closed doors, it’s the parents who play the biggest part in destroying LGBTQ lives. 

Where being homosexual is never a matter of choice, they keep treating it so, trying to find the cure of it! 

It’s them who completely fail to realize that being homosexual isn’t their child’s fault, but if their children fall prey to the stigma of homophobia, the fault is theirs!

There is nothing to ‘cure’

While fury against people who prejudice against the LGBTQ community is understandable, we would be surprised by the reality of the situation. 

In 2018 when the Supreme Court of India decriminalized the homosexual parts of section 377, just because regulation in the Constitution has changed does not mean that people’s mindsets have changed as well. 

It isn’t a switch that can be turned on or off to make India progressive and empathetic all of a sudden.

Baba Ramdev, who remains the epitome of encouragement to everyone in the country, famously stated that yoga could “cure” homosexuality just a few years ago! 

And why do people even claim that queerness is still being “cured” by doctors and psychiatrists?

A simple Google search is enough to tell people that all these stuff are natural phenomena are humans are not the only species who get attracted to the same sex!

Shock therapy (electroconvulsive therapies), psychiatric medications, and even surgery are still used in India that will stun you. 

Not to mention the ‘babas,’ ashrams, and cosmic healers who claim to be able to turn your child back into a “heterosexual” child!

And of course, if nothing else works, marry them off. Because, regardless of wealth or poverty, that is the Indian solution to everything.

We’re not sure if it’s ignorance or naivete that people believe that some unschooled peeps would be able to correct their perfectly fine children but psychologists claim to achieve so are still thriving!

A regional Tamil news channel indirectly supported conversion therapy after a lesbian couple committed suicide. 

It displayed the following message: “Homosexuality is a medical enigma.” 

According to psychologists, “those in a familial setting who enter into this habit can be saved/brought back from it.” 

The English elite media may preach about an equal world for days and celebrate Pride Month, but the activism will be in vain since regional channels, which have more clout, are still far behind. 

Homosexuality, bisexuality, or any other form of sexuality is not a “phase” for teenagers. 

It can’t be “cured,” just like heterosexuality can’t be “cured.” It’s not “abnormal” and we’re not the only species with many sexualities.

Simply Indignation Will Not Result Into Anything

happy-gay-couple

Our wrath should be directed elsewhere!

Rather than being disgusted or shocked by the fact that these incidents still occur, the effort to eliminate them. Being astonished at these incidents does nothing to change their reality! 

It does nothing about moving towards a more informed society and culture!

We should address these in our families even if we don’t identify as LGBT. 

Even if it makes our followers on social media platforms “uncomfortable,” we, the privileged, must encourage sexuality debates. Everyone should aid LGBTQ Indian organizations and groups. 

Homophobia, transphobia, biphobia, and phobias of even the tiniest deviation from “normalcy” aren’t going away anytime soon. They have been stigmatized for ages.

While it has been recorded that protests and violent resistance led to legal action.

When has the law ever resulted in improving the mentalities of people? That’s the job of education right!

It’s essential to let go of our ignorance and accept reality. It will be a long journey ahead, but not impossible to complete.

We all should accept the fact that homosexuality has its existence and give full support to the LGBT community!

There’s no need to get shocked when we hear a girl marrying another girl, or a guy marrying another! Do we get shocked when we hear about opposite-sex marriages? 

The marriages are normal, those relationships are normal, the sexual orientations are normal, and the LGBTQ as human beings are completely normal! 

What we need is to realize, normalize and fight! Fight for the rights of all!

It’s not a war to be fought with fury and shock (no matter how justified such feelings maybe), but one to be fought by first recognizing who we truly are!