Today, I wanted to talk to you about the visible change in people of India regarding equality and freedom of expression. While there is no denying that the struggles faced by the LGBTQIA community are more than real, I feel like the time for change is almost here. The other day, a relative and I were discussing about how two men were holding hands in the theatre. While she found it rather amusing, I, on the other hand, found it completely normal. But that’s the thing! Today, people of my age have started reacting quite differently towards the LGBTQIA community as opposed to the past. So, why am I talking about this? Well, it’s basically an exploration of my thoughts, ideas and observations about the looming change.
My name is Isha Mayer and I belong to Generation Z! I’m a 20-year-old heterosexual studying in a design college in Mumbai. In my college, you can be whoever you want to be and that’s something I love about it.
Firstly, I would like to say that being gay/lesbian/trans is not a disease and isn’t an abnormality! A human being has emotions varying from happiness, sadness, anger and more. Love, however, is the most important one. You can’t steal the basic right of loving someone irrespective of who they choose to love. They shouldn’t be judged for their choices. Youngsters today have become more aware of what is happening in the world thanks to social media. YouTubers like Troye Sivan and Connor Franta have also played a major role in using their fame to talk about such issues and instil confidence in their fans. A lot of people who are of my age have come out of the closet. They are extremely confident and self-aware. Honestly, our country needs more people like that! People have become more vocal and frustrated especially because of section 377. The LGBTQIA community has been at the mercy of this law and has been fighting it for a long time now.
I feel that people in my college are very open-minded and creative. There are people who are gay but we don’t treat them like a minority at all. They’re just like us. The only difference is that they choose to love the same gender but hey, what’s wrong with that? Sometimes I feel that because people are so much more open, aware and accepting in a design college, they are okay with having friends belonging to the community. However, what about people who study in an engineering college? Is it the same for them? From what I’ve noticed and been told, it’s a lot more closed and conversations about these topics will get you alienated. It is still considered a taboo in a lot of places and fields. It’s weird how people start looking at someone differently just because of who they choose to love. There is so much more to a person than just their sexuality or sexual orientation and it’s time people start realising that.
A lot of young girls in my college find it cool to have a gay best friend. I feel it’s high time people stop that. I have come across so many people who talk to a gay guy or a girl just because they want to show off and prove a point. You’d rather be more genuine and understanding than chasing popularity. Another thing I have observed is how people ill-treat the transgender community. If you’re okay to accept a gay or a lesbian person amongst your friend circle, why can’t you accept a trans person? Here’s where we go wrong! We choose to hang out with people that will make us look a certain way in society and that needs to change!
I know it is extremely difficult to come out to your family but I have heard a lot of stories where families have accepted their children for the way they are after they’ve confided in them. So change is happening. Slowly but steadily. A lot more parents are actually coming forward to support their children’s choices.
In some parts of our country, people are changing their thought process towards the LGBTQIA community but we need to educate them more. The generation of our parents and grandparents are still a little orthodox in certain aspects but I know for sure that when we become parents, we will be a lot more understanding towards our children.
The world is changing and so is the way people think. I want live in a place where it is absolutely alright to see two men holding hands or a woman choosing to dress like a man. I wish and hope for a time where no one judges, demeans, discriminates or takes away the right to love. I hope pride marches in India are not just held to fight for basic rights but also celebrate the LGBTQ+ community.
What are your thoughts? Share them in the comments below.
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