Straight Talk

Straight Talk

-Saurabh Sharma

Before RTI came into existence, we would either ignore our queries ourselves or lead ourselves to believe that there is no solution, other than to remain silent and bear with the babudom. But since the RTI Act was passed, our views have changed and we found the babus answerable. By citing the aforementioned example I just want to state that majority of us- The Indians- don’t think much before following the age old customs or traditions or remaining mute spectators. If someone questions them, his voice is usually crushed and he is branded a threat to Indian Culture. In my view, a similar scenario exists with the LGBT community.

After the ruling on Sec-377, many of the “straights” were forced to think on this issue. The matter came out of the closet and became a topic of dining table conversation. Being straight myself, I can say that it wasn’t entirely our fault. We never had much relevant information on this topic. Although all of us have seen eunuchs or transgenders at our homes during ceremonies seeking money etc, still we have hardly ever pondered over the reasons, or discussed it seriously with anyone. Their mockery had become so much a part of our growing up that eventually, we stopped thinking about it and followed the age old customs without being aware of the reasons behind them. From our childhood, we have been taught to follow the preaching of Saints or Maulvis, who spread the word of God and they too have always criticised LGBT’s by saying that it is unnatural or against the Will of God.

Being one of the “traditional Indian”, I also either ignored my queries or followed the Saint’s view on LGBT related issues. But when I came to know that a close friend of mine is gay, I was shocked. Not because of his sexual orientation but because it was hard to accept the fact that gays are as normal as we straight call ourselves and that they account for close to 5% of the population. All my beliefs had come crashing down. The honourable judges of Delhi High Court could look beyond the traditional prejudices and thoughts, and thus delivered their historical judgement on Sec 377 of Indian constitution. I think it gave a sigh of relief to most of you and confidence to some to throw away the mask in this straight dominated society.

I can understand it would have been hard to pretend what you are not. But the awareness about this issue through dailies, magazines etc or by merely organising colourful rallies in metros won’t work. You need to come out of your shell. Straights are an ignorant lot when it comes to LGBT issues. Even I used to think that it “happens” to someone just because he/she doesn’t find a woman /man (as we saw in some Bollywood movies), thus looking at the issue as a problem. So, I too asked my friend to have sex with a girl. I thought by doing this he’ll feel better and will become “normal” soon. When I discussed this issue with my near and dear ones, they also suggested the same. But later, when we explored the matter, we found that it’s not upto someone’s choice, that It’s not an abnormality. So please come out. Time is changing; people’s point of view is changing. Everyone is not the same. Open up to your near and dear ones, who may act as a medium of communication between you and other’s initially.

I know it is easier said than done. There must be a thousand apprehensions in your mind. But you would find that most of them were just “apprehensions”. Acceptance will surely take time. Initially it’ll be hard to speak on a topic that you have always dodged. Some might try to make things bad due to their sheer ignorance. But it’ll be even harder for us to understand the situation and clear our prejudices until “you” discuss it with “us”. Clarify all the “doubts” one might have regarding orientation, marriage, future etc. No one can explain these better than you yourself. I know that LGBT’s are not confined to the metros and are all over India. So, try to achieve your goal with combined efforts.

I hope the day won’t be too far when you’ll be sharing an ice-cream with your partner in a park. Have a nice time.