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Rediff News  All News  » Getahead » 'The closets are becoming claustrophobic, constrictive'

'The closets are becoming claustrophobic, constrictive'

Last updated on: December 12, 2013 18:48 IST

'The closets are becoming claustrophobic, constrictive'


"I love children. I want to adopt one, if not two, and give them love, a home, an education.

I want to have a family.

I just expect my country to accept me the way that I am."

A young member of the LGBTQ community speaks of his hopes and dreams that now lie shattered.

The day that hundreds of thousands of LGBTQ Indians were waiting for with bated breaths has come. Yes, you read it right. We are a those many. Probably more. Shocking, right?

We live amongst you, serve you, feed you, clothe you, style you, build homes and bridges for you, and the list goes on.

Facebook, with its closed groups for the LGBTQ community, has been abuzz with excitement and nervousness for the past few weeks. Each day members would check on the website for the Supreme Court to see the details of the cases that would be taken up the next day.

They were hoping every day that the case that would decide their fate in the world's second largest democracy would be part of the next day's agenda.

The Delhi high court judgment of July 2009 decriminalising homosexuality and relationship between same gender was challenged in the Supreme Court and Justice Singhvi, who was presiding over the case, was to deliver his ruling on his last working day as a judge before he retires from service.

We want to move from the fence sitting group of 46 undecided countries that are yet to support or oppose homosexuality at the UN. We want to move from the list of 82 countries where homosexuality is illegal.

People who look at signs of hope like sighting two crows together or finding a four leaf clover predicted a positive ruling in favour of the LGBTQ community, based on the so-called lucky date "11.12.13".

And lucky it was… for all those religious bigots who were suddenly united in this noble cause to save the world from this abnormality or mental disorder called homosexuality. The Hindu organisations, Muslim Personal Law Board, certain sections of the Church, astrologers and the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights, etc were the parties that appealed against the Delhi high court verdict. But they were up against academia, mental health professionals, the Naz Foundation, Voices against 377 and parents of LGBTQ.

Did we doubt the Supreme Court's decision to stand by the high court's judgement? No! After all, the 'Pride Parades' in different cities across the country have been swelling with supporters and marchers. It would be crazy for anyone to pretend this didn't exist.

Incidentally I am sitting miles away in an equally homophobic nation, hoping that my country will pave the way for many other nations to move into the 21st century. I log into Facebook even though I am at work since the excitement is too much to handle.

The first status update: "Setback. PROTEST time", hits me. I am shocked.

Well what did I expect? Where did my optimism come from? For someone who has worked abroad earlier and chose to return home this was a piece of news that was difficult to digest.

Hundreds of LGBTQ gathered today back home to listen to the verdict and celebrate. Their hopes dashed, they are mourning. Colourful rainbow DPs of Facebook have been replaced with either black squares or black and white equality signs.

What do I expect from my country in return for my patriotism, the taxes that I pay, the arguments that I have with foreigners who have a myopic vision of my country, etc.?

I just expect my country to accept me the way that I am. I love children. I want to get married. I want to adopt one, if not two and give them love, a home, an education. I want to have a family.

How will these hopes ever be fulfilled when my country still doesn't want to strike down a draconian rule that our colonisers, the British introduced and left? Ironically the British have legalised homosexuality and even gay marriages.

2014 will be a new year with new beginnings. The fight is on with the hypocrites. We will challenge and win our rights. The closets are becoming too claustrophobic and constrictive. New governments will be formed, new legislations passed and new appeals made.

It's raining here again. I believe that somewhere, once this rain stops, a rainbow will emerge. A rainbow so colourful and inclusive that it will make people smile.

The author of this piece wishes to remain anonymous.

Photographs: Reuters