Four years after the Supreme Court decriminalized homosexuality, the LGBTQ community is still fighting for its place in society.
Sagnik Sarkar, 23, from the pride community who is a gay, informed The Observer: “Just like straight people are not expected to mention that hello, I’m straight when they meet people in society, even LGBTQ community (people) should not be expected to put it out; instead, they should get their rights gradually.”
“People judge and make comments. (Our) society is not open-minded. Pride walks and groups made for LGBTQ (people) are the good side of people who support us,” he added.
“Being a gay or lesbian or a bisexual is not our mentality; it is our personality. That’s how we are born,” Sarkar said.
Megha Iyer (name changed) is a lesbian who is unable to share her sexual identity with her family. She fears may be thrown out of the house. Only her close cousins and friends have been supportive and welcoming.
“Just like couples are stared at and judged in public, it gets difficult for same-sex couples as they have all eyes on them. Same-sex couples are considered abnormal and beaten up in public,” she said.
Samyak Mate, 29 is a bisexual, who was clueless about the term LGBTQ till his 12th grade.
“I still remember… taking more time for myself…. Somehow I mustered courage and put it out to my family and a close friend.” He faced interrogation sessions by his parents.
According to the law, an individual from the LGBTQ community can adopt under as a single parent. Similarly, LGBTQ couples should also have right to adopt and start their family, Mate said.
Advocate Aniket Karkhanis said: “As we have different laws for marriages for different religions, same-sex marriages should be included under the Special Marriage Act. It is presumed that the LGBTQ community is destroying Indian culture, but it is not the case. People need to be open- minded and understanding. That is when getting rights and acceptance will be easier.”
Ahead of the Pride Walk on November 27, members of the LGBTQ community hope for a better deal from society. About 1,000 people are expected to participate in the walk.