In conversation with quite possibly the bravest man I have known, the taboo of homosexuality doesn’t untangle itself like it should. Satyaki is a mysterious guy. He is forward, honest, and essentially carefree. But the faraway look in his eyes hooks me along the reality that people like him have had to struggle too hard to simply be allowed to smile.
“It is high time that we separate sex and reproduction,” he continues, “people do not only have sex to reproduce. And as for homosexuality being natural, I can only say that I did not choose to become homosexual. I was this way from the very beginning.
But he is equally guarded about his spirit; the never-back-down warrior of a façade comes from his battle scars. Wars against the society he has fought since his awareness of early sexuality and won.
Wars fought long and hard, wars that he and every other individual who has dared to budge away from the accepted spectrum of heterosexuality have to still fight to survive. To exist is no longer a choice, it becomes everything in a society out to tear you apart if don’t bow down.
He reminds me, “No one would choose to be something that society disregards. More than 1,500 species of animals apart from human beings have shown homosexual attributes. Still unnatural? And who are we to decide what is natural and unnatural? Who has given us the authority?”
True. There is nothing unnatural about homosexuality. What in fact is unnatural that we are still struggling with this prejudice. This is something that people should typically understand.
But such is not the case in our ‘!incredible’ India. If there is anything that unites masses Indians of Indians other than an India-Pakistan cricket match, it the inherent prejudice that breeds like cancer in our pan-Indian cultures. Our culture accepts refuses two consenting individuals from loving each other.
Instead, it lives on through the pearls of wisdom such as these:
“Homosexuality is Against Nature.”
Indian manuscripts and ancient texts do not in any way criminalize homosexuality in the way modern Indians perceive it to be. The modern conservative notion of criminal sexuality trickles down from the policies of the British who in the era of High Victorian age imposed a ban on homosexuality through article 377 in Indian Penal Code in 1860 to suit their ideas of conservative Christian morality.
Yes, we are not quite over the colonial hangover, to say the least.
“Homosexuality can be Cured.”
Sure, why not. If heterosexuality can be cured, why not homosexuality as well? Jokes apart, no sexuality has a scientific basis. A scientist has indeed discovered that some strains of DNA as distinctive in a large number of homosexuals, but it is radical enough to absolutely go with. Homosexuality is not contagious, it is not an ailment anyone has to recover from. Alternative sexual identities, like bisexuality or asexuality, are equally frowned upon owing to the virtue of their labels.
The finding of the gene might scientifically qualify homosexuality but will do little to eradicate the disbelief and associated indifference.
Sexual identity is not a drug. If a person is a sex addict, he/she cannot blame it on their same-sex partners.
“It is Against our Hindu Culture.”
The Supreme Court had overturned the Delhi High Court citing that the law of the land should be a reflection of the dominant currents of thought. If people are actually such homophobes they must know this: Vishnu had turned into a female form Mohini to have sex and have children with Shiva, the Destroyer on being asked.
Indian mythology has a whole treasure chest of transgender or cross-dressing characters who add the twist in the plot. Hindu religion is fundamentally one of the most relaxed cultures in the world against homosexuality.Older punishments would include washing oneself in ponds with clothes on if one was caught. In fact, adultery and unnatural intercourse with virgins attracted heavy penalties instead.
Why am I interested in all this? I am a demisexual and everyone just dismisses me as a wimpy wanna-be label-hunting heterosexual.
Decoding the naturalness of homosexuality or any kind of alternative sexuality demands that you be neutral. From a laboratory perspective we can be, but out in the society- the culture will not heed to a bank of science to judge a person. There is a lot of very encouraging writing on the internet that is helping to debunk these myths around homosexuality, Love Matters is one where I found bold expressive articles aimed at creating a support system for the homosexuals in India.
It’s necessary that people generate more dialogue around it, only then will that become more easily acceptable. People in India finally need to simply understand this: our morality is a borrowed culture, not a homegrown one that preaches continually of tolerance and patience to all the children of God.
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