The wait for the rainbow at the end of the tunnel

Pride Parades are events for the LGBT community celebrating their culture and pride. The events also at times serve as demonstrations for legal rights such as same-sex marriage. In the recent times we’ve seen a lot of such parades taking place around the world. The parades are not restricted to only the LGBT community but people from all spheres of life are welcome to be a part of it. Dubbing it as a celebration of love, people come together to celebrate love and emphasise on the non-existence of boundaries on whom we can chose as a lover and whom we cannot. This Sunday’s parade in Chandigarh saw a lot of youngsters, middle aged and old alike joining in the celebration. The roads were filled with people carrying rainbow coloured flags, banners and charts representing equality.

Chapter XVI, Section 377 of Indian Penal Code criminalises sexual activities “against the order of nature”, arguably including homosexual sexual activities. This section was decriminalised by a two-judge bench of the Delhi High Court, stating that treating a sexual intercourse between two homosexual individuals as a crime is a violation of fundamental rights protected by India’s constitution. This judgement was later overturned by the Supreme Court of India with the court stating that amending or repealing Section 377 should be left to the Parliament, and not the judiciary.

In spite of these parades, India has still not come in terms with the fact that there are a lot of people who term themselves as lesbian or gay. There are a lot of them who have come out to the world but have faced indifference after that. Families in rural India have their own ways of dealing with LGBT individuals. Secret honour killing are planned so to escape that, they run away to the city with no money and no support. Lesbian women are subjected to family sanctioned corrective rapes, which are often perpetrated by their own family members.

It’s understood that Pride Parades do make a difference. People who associate themselves as a member of the said community, get together and protest. But how and when will their rights be recognised with such passive protests? We need to understand that every change that needs to take place has to start at the grass root level and in our case it would be our families. A person can be comfortable in the society only when he is accepted by his own family for who he is. We need to have leaders who are brave enough to take up this issue and take substantial measures for the same.

The write up was submitted by Simran Sidana, Virinda Kumar and Parika Bhardwaj from the II year.

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