Its OK to be Gay… Delhi High Court’s historic verdict!!!!

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NEW DELHI: Roshni could not believe that the slogan she was screaming just four days earlier at Delhi’s gay pride march would come true so soon breaking into a jig every now and then as they celebrated the Delhi High Court’s verdict.

“We won, we won!” they screamed gleefully amid drum beats with other members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community clapping. Holding aloft placards reading “Heterosexual is not normal, it’s just common” and “Justice has prevailed”, they literally washed the road in the rainbow colours that symbolise the LGBT community.

Wearing multi-hued T-shirts, badges and flags, the cheering community members hugged one another. For many of them the judgement has been the first positive result that they have had after a fight of many years.

“Oh my God, I have been talking about gay rights, working with health workers for two decades now. At a certain point, the fight seemed endless. But today, thank you God, has been a ray of hope,” said Sakshi Ray, a lawyer and gay rights activist.

Homosexuality has long been debated in Indian mainstream society. Barring the seminars amongst activists and health officials in the purview of gay rights and health implications, it has been more in the form of ridicule elsewhere. For instance, Hindi movies like Abhsihek Bachchan starrer Dostana dealt with homosexuality, but as a slap-stick comedy. There have been other movies like My Brother Nikhil, which revolved around the issue of HIV and men having sex with men (MSM).

Although most may not come out openly about their sexual preferences, a number of members of the gay community have their own non-discreet clubs which act like a platform of common meeting point.

They are also active on the internet, writing blogs, updating each other on the latest happenings. Manish Mehrotra, an activist wearing a rainbow coloured T-shirt, sat with his partner on the sidewalk near the central observatory as he watched all the fanfare Thursday afternoon.

“You know this is just the first step. Now it’s just us celebrating, we are happy to be amongst ourselves. I want the day to dawn soon when we are no longer discriminated against in the society... societal reform is so important,” said Mehrotra.

“More often than not it’s the upper class society people who, with the support of their family and peers, have come out of the closet and expressed their sexuality unabashedly. But the middle class is still hesitant. Being homosexual is considered a taboo, a crime for most people in India still,” he said. “I hope the judiciary’s decision will bring about a societal change, even if slowly,” Mehrotra smiled, as his partner held a placard that read: “Homosexual Legal”.

source: Times of India

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