I blame myself and I take the responsibility for not making enough noise or becoming more visible following the 105 pages of beautifully crafted 2009 Delhi High Court judgment. And so do I blame hundreds of more people in the public space in India for not coming out to own up their sexuality.
We thought it would be easy for the Supreme Court to realise after hearing voices from other parts of the world. But we forgot that this is India.
So what was I expecting? That our judiciary would be bold enough to give us our rights by abolishing Section 377? A law which condemns having sex against the laws of nature that include anal sex, fellatio and many more acts. Thus legally making me a criminal as I have sex against the course of nature?? Actually that would make us all criminals, isn’t it?
Right now I feel ashamed to call myself Indian where the Constitution doesn’t even uphold my basic right to equality.
People will ask, “So how does it matter? No one is coming to arrest you or harass you. We accept you the way you are”, to which I can only say it matters to millions of more people who are less fortunate socially or for those who cannot come out and say, “Yes, I am gay and the laws of the land protect me”. They will never have the confidence to come out by saying “I can’t marry your daughter and ruin her life”.
They will end up leading lives of duality by force and mostly not by choice with the worry of being disowned and socially ostracised.
Those in rural areas will always be ganged upon by bullies for being boys with effeminate traits or girls with tomboyish attitudes and then there will be many more stories of suicides of teenagers who will not be able to come to terms with themselves or their sexuality or their unconsummated love which isn’t recognised by the laws of the land.
Parents who wouldn’t understand will always say “whatever you are doing is illegal”, and if police want to harass you for public display of affection, they will do so by using the same clause.
So where do we stand? Circa 2009 I exactly remember when the Delhi High Court judgment was announced I was in Australia attending a dear friend’s wedding and I felt elated and proud that our country had taken a step in the right direction.
Circa 11.12.13 I stand dumbfounded, hurt and enraged that the laws of the land failed to protect me. It failed to make a distinction between “sex against the laws of nature” and “gay sex”. The Supreme Court expects that octogenarian politicians (barring a few) will discuss the differences and go against religious vote banks?
That’s the biggest long shot we have ever been thrown into. Couldn’t they have made an exception by creating some legal parameters to separate homosexuality from Sec 377? They could have but they didn’t.
Here I am now seething in anger.
If need be, we all will march to Parliament. It will be a march for equality and for the right to love who you want.
I blame myself for not waking up sooner….