LGBTQ Rights in India
When we talk about the LGBTQ people, most of us stereotype it or doesn’t prefer to say their gender out loud. They are criminalize for the acts they never committed. But the question among all this is quite clear- why? Why do us outcaste someone who had no control over his her gender. Do you decide on to be born as a boy or a girl? No, right? These people also didn’t choose over what they are born like. Just like being male or female, homosexuality is also a natural phenomenon existing in our society since ages. But this discussion needs to be done later.
“What is straight? A line can be straight, or a street, but the human heart, oh, no, it’s curved like a road through mountains.” – Tennessee Williams.
As first task is to make it clear what LGBTQ actually stands for :
Starting from L, it stands for lesbian- A lesbian is a homosexual woman. The word lesbian is also used for women in relation to their sexual identity or sexual behavior, regardless of sexual orientation, or as an adjective to characterize or associate nouns with female homosexuality or same-sex attraction. Then we have G, which stands for Gay- Gay is a term that refers to a homosexual person or the trait of being homosexual- in simple word for homosexual male. Then comes B, B stands for bisexual- which means that a person is either physically attracted to the other genders male and female. This attraction can be romantic as well as sexual. After LGB, we have T which stands for Transgender. Transgender people have a gender identity or gender expression that differs from their assigned sex. Which meant that a person that is born as a boy have traits similar that of a girl or vice versa, their assigned birth gender is different from their sexual orientation. And lastly the Q, which stands for Queer. Queer is a term for sexual and gender minorities who are not heterosexual or are not cisgender. Which means it’s a category for people whose gender preferences are bit unique but they don’t fall under any category of LGBT. So you see that’s the complete definition, but I won’t leave it like this, I should mention the definition of a male and female as well, because- hello! Of course they are the only genders missing now. So to start with a female, a person with XX chromosomes usually has female sex and reproductive organs, and is therefore usually assigned biologically female. Whereas a person with XY chromosomes usually has male sex and reproductive organs, and is therefore usually assigned biologically male.
So it’s clear by now that LGBTQ is just another set of genders which most of us find hard to accept or even appreciate. And it’s not just because of what we think but because of what we have been thinking from a long time. Our minds have been constructed in a way that people don’t tend to accept the fact that there exist another gender apart from their own, thus, LGBTQ rights remain a big question in India and around the world. So let’s start with the Indian constitution. Article 15 defines some of the most basic and prominent rights to the citizens. Article 15 of the Constitution of India states that:
Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth
(1) The State shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, and place of birth or any of them.
(2) No citizen shall, on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them, be subject to any disability, liability, restriction or condition with regard to:
· Access to shops, public restaurants, hotels and palaces of public entertainment; or
· The use of wells, tanks, bathing ghats, roads and places of public resort maintained wholly or partly out of State funds or dedicated to the use of the general public.
“Every gay and lesbian person who has been lucky enough to survive the turmoil of growing up is a survivor. Survivors always have an obligation to those who will face the same challenges.”- Bob Paris
So as per to what I see, there’s no mention of the words such as male or female within the article. So why do we think that the constitution only recognize two genders? Do you know it was only until 1994 that these people were recognized as a third gender to give votes? Only after this major recognition, LGBTQ rights started to improve. Now there’s no restriction for these people to seek surgeries to get their genders changed. The Supreme court of India recognize the group as the socially backward people so they have a good chance at reservation in various field- education or jobs. Apart from this, the government documents, such as voter ID cards, passports and bank forms, have started providing a third gender option alongside male and female, usually designated as “other” (O), “third gender” (TG) or “transgender” (T). Last year article 377 relaxed many atrocities against them as now they can openly enjoy same sex relationships. So my question now is just that even when the constitution of India recognizes them as natural beings, what’s our problem in accepting them? Not as if it’s important or they are dying for our acceptance, what I want to shed light on is the fact that unacceptance is fine as long as one don’t cross the boundaries. Homosexual acts are legal in almost all Western countries, and now in Asian as well, then why the ratio of hate crimes against them is exploding? Transgender experience higher level of hate crimes against them. They fell more prey to mob lynching and are mostly subjected to day to day humiliation. Here I can clearly see that there’s definitely some problem with us and not them, as they are not objecting any question on your gender, as male or female- then us objecting their existence shows the insecurity we have in ourselves. So if you really brag yourself as liberal and modern, then not accepting or even appreciating their existence makes me question your words. This is the high time for us to actually get our thoughts together and think that does every norm or what we have been taught since yet is right or wrong?