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30Nov 2022

The Freedom to be You

Posted by : Agastya Mitra
Category : Kids Blog 14-18 years
Date :

The lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (also known as the Lgbtq+) community, are a marginalised section of society. Especially in India where any act of sexuality is considered to be a taboo, people of the community are forbidden from being open and being who they really are!

In India, gay marriage wasn’t even legalised until 2018. In 1856, section 377 of the British penal code criminalised any homosexual activity. It was declared to be "against the order of nature". The section wasn’t even abolished years after India’s independence.

During that time, the main factor was the different notions and idealistic concepts of the castes and religions, not everyone was okay with the idea of two men, or two women as partners.

However, this has changed over the years.

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Recently, I was invited to a Diwali event celebrating the LGBTQ community in Bengaluru. Here they were able to convey their feelings through their words and body languages, gestures, conveying feelings expressively through art, song, and dance without being judged for being their true selves.

I got to meet many members of the LGBTQ community who were extremely kind and polite and were far from their stereotypes. I learnt a lot about the struggle and hardships the community has gone through and how they came out of it stronger than ever. We celebrated the community and those still striving to be themselves out there by lighting diyas and sharing sweets amongst one another.

The community was very welcoming and accepting of everyone. Nobody was shunned or shamed for being who they are. It was an amazing opportunity to experience such inclusiveness and it has opened my eyes to the fact that there is multiple facets of our society and it’s not a binary world.

As we know that the LGBTQ+ community is a predominantly discriminated and shunned community in India. So, one would ask what do we do to help them live a normal life? Well, here are some that we can think about:

  • ‌Education

It is very crucial to raise awareness in both the current generation and future generations to stop the spread of any misinformation regarding their nature.

  • ‌Inclusion

Be inclusive of everyone no matter who they are or where they come from. Ensure they are not discriminated when they want to be contributing member of society.

  • ‌Support queer owned businesses – Entrepreneurs

Be an ally and help and support small businesses that are owned by a member of the community. Get involved in spreading awareness about inclusivity and accepting all nature of humans.

Necessary action needs to be taken to aid in this battle for the freedom of identity. In most parts of the world homosexuality is still outlawed and heavily discriminated and some countries even criminalise.

Communication is an especially important and a key tool because the more you talk the more awareness is created and that will definitely create a ripple in the coming years. Someone has to take the baton; onus is upon each one of us to change the mindset of the people.

Parents need to be counselled if their child discover that they are part of LGBTQ+. They should happily accept who each individual is and not ignored and disown them or forcibly try to change them. This is something natural and no amount of therapy or medicine or force will be able to change. The way we accept good or bad where we have no control, in a similar way we have no control on this either and should agree with it.

So, let’s acknowledge the reality and move forward. Each one of us irrespective of our passion and inclination have something to give to the world. Life is precious and should be taken care of. If we give the same love that we get being non-LGBTQ then why the disparity, why the discrimination?

Therefore, I have taken a pledge to

  • Advocate for the safe and supporting environment for LGBTQ+.
  • Advocate for the rights of the community and stand in opposition of any anti-LGBTQ+ laws policies or practices.

Another signifiacnt way, one could support the LGBTQ+ community is by celebrating Pride month during the month of June. It is 31 days of celebrating the uniqueness and individuality of the community.


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Agastya Mitra

I have an interest in wildlife and finding a sustainable way to save the environment. Some of my hobbies include reading, sketching, swimming and writing. I’ve had a passion for volunteering and giving back to the community too.

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