When we hear that someone is LGBT — many terms come in our minds like, “Kinnar,” “Chakkas,” “Meetha,” “Lunj,” “Khasuya.” In many regional languages, these are the terms that we used to say when we address lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) in India. Sometimes belonging to the LGBT community means losing your loved ones, treated as a joke in the friend’s circle, treated as a black sheep of the house, being abused by unknown people, others feared to stand with you as they feel you ‘spoil’ their social image and being forced by society to lock yourself in the closet and die in isolation as you don’t deserve life because they don’t think you are normal. This eternal fight is deadly as your body says something and your emotions the other.
Several religious books have defined gender as a fluid concept. If we refer to the ancient’s texts, we come across many instances where famous deities have changed their gender to perform certain purposes. In ancient times, the bisexuality line was blurred. As in the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna says that “he is the only male rest all are the females, nothing is unnatural if it exists.”
From the last few years, the scenario is changing as Manabi Bandyopadhyay (became the first openly transgender college principal), Sushant Divigikar (Mr. India Gay 2014), Laxmi Narayan (trans activist), Manila Suri (India-American mathematician and writer), Prince Manvendra Singh (first openly gay prince) and many others who worked with and as LGBT youth and are perfect examples of breaking the stereotype.
While the Supreme court is doing a great job by the ruling and judgments that bring good hope among the LGBT community, there are many court decisions which are still pending and need to be decided, like anti-discrimination laws in the provision of goods and services, same-sex marriage, LGBT’s right in the military, right to change legal gender and the notion of bisexuality as an illness should be declassified.
LGBT people around the world face violence and inequality and sometimes torture because of who they are, what they love and how they give the impression of being. Some LGBT people fled to other countries where they are treated as equal to straight people. Though, the LGBT community is doing a great job to safeguard their rights as discrimination against an individual by sexual orientation is deeply offensive to the dignity of an individual. We must give respect and love in the same way we want to be treated. After all, society is created and is comprised of us, so a little change won’t hurt. If a small change can make millions of lives comfortable, then why not? Let’s make India a place where every gender is welcomed with open arms.