Being LGBTQ In India: The Truth

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The current generation of Indian youths have accepted queer identities and homosexuality much, more than previous generations. However, even with this kind of acceptance, gender acceptance is still a significant issue for LGBTQ people with the boundaries of school, family, and the traditional home.

There is an increased awareness of LGBT rights in urban India due to corporate and social media initiatives. However, the landscape looks a little more welcoming to gay men than it does for transgender people or the lesbian community. LGBT activism in the urban world relies majorly on LGBT voices that speak on real world and online platforms. As a result, only a small part of the challenges witnessed by the community are brought to light.

When you take away Twitter or social media discussions, weekly meet-ups or gay pride celebrations, it’s evident that rural India doesn’t deal with the LGBTQ community with the same acceptance and acknowledgement. There are areas of rural India where honour killings are the only way to address anyone who identifies as LGBT. In such instances, the only way to ensure survival is to take flight during the night and escape into a city with no support from anyone or financial muscle.

Other areas of rural India subject women who identify as lesbians to corrective rapes that are often planned and taken out by their family members. In rural areas, trans men and lesbian women usually find themselves at the very bottom of the hierarchy when it comes to attaining their basic human rights within the village and the family as well. In the same way, every year, there are news stories of lesbian women committing suicides in educated urban India. It is therefore no surprise then that the first danger posed to lesbian women is in most cases, their own families.

The village becomes the first unit of violence that the LGBTQ community will endure. Babas and village medics recommend rape as the first action of attempt to ‘cure’ lesbians of homosexuality. When these women refuse to get married, they are subjected to further physical abuse. In most cases, the stories of families accepting LGBT individuals is much more of an urban aspect.

The Results of Coming Out

According to recent studies the most significant factor that results in stigmatization of LGBT people is the negative reactions of the family unit towards homosexuality. According to the same study, if LGBT people agree to behave like their heterosexual counterparts, they become more acceptable to their families.

While it’s easy for LGBT people to get carried away by what they see on TV and other forms of media, it’s vital that they aren’t carried away. And, while we’re not encouraging people to stay in the closet, it’s important that one knows what they’re up against before they come out and reveal that they’re LGBT even to close family members.

On the other hand, staying in the closet may impose a significant psychological burden. You can never plan enough for your coming out. But, it would be more helpful to take your time and only come out to the people you think would be safe to be around.

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