India criminalises homosexuality; sexual intercourse between two consenting adults of the same sex is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or heavy fines. LGBT people are largely marginalised and discriminated against in terms of employment and opportunity. While India seems regressive and backward, individual families (like my own) provide a beacon of hope with progressive attitudes and acceptance of gay people. While the state still tries to set up clinics to ‘cure’ homosexuality, my family has accepted my gay aunt and this acceptance reflects a major attitude shift that was nearly unthinkable 10 years ago.
The change seen in the Indian mentality about LGBT people is hard to notice and even harder to catalyse, because it’s happening behind closed doors within families and small communities. While a portion of India is still opposed to homosexuality and are in favour of its criminalisation, there are progressive pockets that fight to allow members of the LGBT community to be accepted and respected members of society. The legal attitude towards LGBT rights is at odds with the social attitude, but perhaps this is what is needed to reform the country’s anti LGBT laws.
Over the past two decades, the clear trend of regression of laws and rejection of LGBT people by the courts stands in stark contrast to my family’s gradual acceptance of my aunt’s sexual orientation. Read more via Hindustan Times