While in one part of the world, the United States of America celebrated the legalization of same sex marriage across the country, people of India are yet to embrace the concept of homosexuality, let alone have the same sex come together in holy matrimony. Rome wasn’t built in a day and while we believe that our own country is slowly and steadily making huge leaps of progress in other areas of growth, Nancy Varghese takes a look at how different (or not) it is for people from different sexual orientations to build and form relationships that last
Surely you’ve come across a mirror by this point in your life? You know what you look like and how your body is comprised of features like the hair on your scalp, your cheekbones, a pair of eyes and like most other beings, covered in skin? By social construct, if you were to meet a stranger that you wished to get acquainted with, you would shake hands and introduce yourself by the name given to you by your family. Would you follow it up with your sexual orientation? Would you feel the need to notify the person standing in front of you that you are romantically attracted to men or women? Does that in anyway determine or classify you, categorizing or subcategorizing you into a shelf in the ‘Unnatural’ or ‘Natural’ aisles of a supermarket?
As a human being, your deeds, your personality and the decisions you take in life make up the very fibre of your existence on this planet, irrespective of where you come from and how differently you are wired on the inside. How difficult is to grasp simple truths such as these and why is it so easy to completely overlook them and give people a hard time for being themselves instead?
LET IT BE?
“People can never take to change easily and it’s a very Stepford Wives like scenario, you know? Everything in this world seems so set and pristine in its way, that the need to allow variation or ripples of any kind makes people think that it may be threatening the whole system. The reflex is always fight, not peace,” says Vikram (name
changed on request).
“As a homosexual, I have never felt so threatened being who I am as I do today, in this country. It’s easy for people to say “en go to the USA! People like you belong there anyway”. How do you expect me to leave India, leave home, just because my choices do not align with that of the majority of this country or world? I use to be
very vocal about this before, but I have been quelled so many times that I don’t anymore. I live my life anyway”, he says, condent.
When asked about what his friends have to say on this matter he says, “Thankfully, they’ve always been my rock when it came to this. I have friends from across states and even countries. Most of them are heterosexuals, but that doesn’t stop me from saying anything to them! Why should it? Friendship knows no sex or bias, that’s how it should always be!”
BREAKING THE ICE, TALKING IT OUT
While hobbies, choice in music, food, experiences or ideologies may be the most commonly discussed subjects of interest among peers, how does one discuss sexuality or other such ‘taboo’ conversations among different groups? Padma Shivarajan (name changed on request) tells us, “It really isn’t as different as one thinks. I can very proudly say that I have indeed checked out other women with my straight friends and they are mature and sensible enough to be okay with it. We speak about sex and relationships just as easily as heterosexual friends do and I really don’t see why we can’t. Initially, sure, it isn’t easy for everyone to accept it and there are apprehensions on what subjects can be discussed and what can’t be. Thin ice everywhere. It takes time. Everything does. But you can really tell the ones you love you from the ones who are there to talk down on you. The ones who stay and accept you in all your quirks, so to speak, are the ones who are worth taking the bullet for.”
STAY TRUE TO YOURSELF
It isn’t as smooth a journey for everyone out there, though. While things seem peachy for most of the members of the minority, there are a few others who have had nothing but venom spewed at them for having the ‘audacity’ to stray from the flock. Depression and thoughts contemplating suicide are not uncommon among those who opened up to their friends and expected them to empathize, but received absolute hell for it. And to these people we say: keep faith and don’t ever give up on yourself for what the world may have to say. ere will always be a silver lining and all you have to do is, wait for the storm clouds to pass.
Volume 5 Issue 2