Today, the Indian youth is having and making conversations about homosexuality and queer groups like never before. Not only conversations but also the acceptance and awareness is rising with every passing day. However, if we talk about the awareness of the LGBTQ community inside the household environment, the freedom to express one’s gender is still questionable. It is hard to move forward with the ideas of every generation. Thus, when it comes to acceptance or even the freedom of conversations about it, it still is a huge deal for most parents or guardians.
Today, in the urban areas, there is a high level of public awareness about the LGBTQ community and queer culture through the use of social media and various other initiatives like peace walks and marches. But can we say the same about the rural environment? It is important to have a conversation that we at least have the right information. Without awareness, the environment for gay men and lesbian women gets even worse as compared to that of transgenders. In our country, specifically because of diversified regions and cultures everything gets just worse. There is a world far away from social activism and hashtags where coming out about yourself is seen as a sin or societal prejudice. Many times people are killed or their rights are violated. If not for young adults, things would still have been very different for many. It is undoubtedly true that we did fight our way through and it a long journey, but the question lies how far have we come?
Stepping out of the closet has not been easy for many. Yes, people have but did take a lot of courage and self-belief. Colonialism in the country has been an age-old practice of justifying strict gender norms. It is like this belief has been implanted in our systems, that there can be nothing beyond the distinctive gender of a boy and a girl. But turns out, all that we have been told was a lie. Rather homosexuality coexisted even then, including the time of our independence. Yes, the first step of the justification of the acceptance of homosexuality is the religious texts, as it is mentioned in the Vedas: “Tritiya Prakriti”. Unbelievable right? Something that is so alarming to even parents’ of this generation, has already been in existence since the age of BC. Research has even found out that Babur, our first Mughal emperor was not even straight.
Then there came the time when the first study was conducted by Shakuntala Devi in her book “The world of homosexuality “ during the independence. India soon got it’s first ‘All India Hijra Community’ with more than 50,000 members, there came the advent of gay magazines, there came the rise of coming out stories, people started protesting for gay rights even before the advent of cancellation of section 377. Turns out the LGBTQ community has been battling long before we as young adults now are spreading awareness and talking about it. Their battle for their rights and individuality has been something we all as individuals should recognize and take pride in.
The age-old norms when are broken, bring a sense of ambiguity among many. Sane way, coming out to one’s relatives and close ones, has not come easy on many. From many studies and research conducted, it was seen that when the young adults try to come out to their parents, after a lot of debate and discussion sessions, they only accept their youth’s homosexuality only if he agrees to decide as a heterosexual. This sought of behavior among the parents creates a sought of negativity in the child’s mind. It is hard for Indian minds, especially adults to accept queer behavior specifically because of how the western media has forecasted it. It is important that the parents realize to take things from an individualistic perspective rather than what others would perceive it as. For most individuals staying in a close is already not easy. They go through extreme psychological changes and suffer from loneliness. It is important to not make things anymore hard on them just because of societal pressure.
Today’s youth has empathy and compassion for each other. They mostly bond with each other when their guardians are not as accepting on certain occasions. This has resulted in how the youth has been vigorously working on forming groups and communities to stand for homosexuality and trans rights. This individualistic approach to stand for each other, and with each other has been predominantly successful in bringing certain changes in the outlook of many people today.