It has been a year and a few days since the Supreme Court of India struck down Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code. For the uninitiated, this means that consensual gay relationships were finally decriminalized in India. What all has changed in the past one year? Let’s take a look.
First off, without section 377 to persecute homosexual relationships, people belonging to the LGBTQI community no longer have to live in fear of the law. They are now free to date whoever they please – and as openly as they want to.
Sadly, society still largely holds the same Victorian sense of “morality” regarding same-sex relationships.
Let me clarify what I mean by that. See, on a micro-level, this move by the Supreme Court has encouraged plenty of people to come out to their friends and their family and be accepted by them. Many have even come out at their places of work, which is a bold move, and their coworkers and superiors have also embraced them for who they are.
As LGBTQ activist and celebrity accessory designer Akassh K Aggarwal states, there has been a lot of positive change due to section 377 being laid to rest for the suffocatingly dogmatic law that it was.
The last one year has been very impactful to bring in social change. TheSupreme Court judgment helped our society and the LGBTQ community embrace the resurfacing of LGBTQ Identity in India with a lot of sensitivity. We were able to talk out loud about lesbian identity and the issues women Faces in the patriarchal system. Serious question have been raised regarding the rape of boys and transgenders. The last one year also helped bring in a more inclusive and diverse workplace culture.
On a macro-level, however, a lot remains to be changed. For starters, homosexuality is still thought of as a choice and as a disease, even by educated people like doctors, who ought to know better.
Being homosexual may be legal now, but it is still looked down upon as a taboo.
As a country, India is highly homophobic and we need to be sensitized to the fact that homosexuality is perfectly natural. In fact, it is seen in many bird and animal species as well.
Attitudes towards same-sex relationships can only be changed if the government, NGOs, and public figures raise awareness about the fact that there is more to sexuality than male and female relationships. The more openly we talk about the sexuality spectrum the more it will become normal and “anti-taboo”.
Irrespective of your sexuality, how has the abolishment of section 377 changed your life? Let me know in the comments below.