India is not exactly a country known for being a leader in LGBTQ rights. Since last year though, it has got a lot right!
It’s not easy being gay in India.
The existence of Section 377, an Indian law since 1860 that basically penalises any kind of non-procreative sexual intercourse, remains to this day quite possibly the biggest challenge to the progression of LGBTQ rights and equal and fair treatment for the community in Indian society.
The LGBTQ community and it’s supporters took a blow last year when the Indian government choose to actively abstain from voting altogether on the matter of creating a post for an independent expert on sexual orientation and gender identity in government, a resolution put forward by the UN Council. The move sparked an angry backlash, of course, and it was taken as utterly unbecoming of a modern progressive state.
However, by no means has the past year been all bad news. Whilst the law may be stuck in the 19th century, many of India’s population aren’t. In fact, the past year has seen an outpouring of support and initiatives for LGBTQ groups, and because it’s Pride month, well, we want to celebrate that!
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As with all important social movements, the first step to overturning laws and winning rights is simply to be seen and for voices to be heard. The advancement of LGBTQ rights in India depends extensively on individuals and the community coming together and creating the change themselves. With this as a starting point, it’ll pave the way for the rest of it to follow.
Here are 10 reasons to make you proud of India during Pride month!
Lucknow hosted its first Gay Pride march (the first city in UP to do so), and people loved it!
Elder LGBTQ members in Mumbai are being offered a safe space to meet for a ‘chai and a chat’ to tackle loneliness through a social group ‘Mumbai Seenagers’.
Tuition fees were scrapped for transgenders at The Manonmaniam Sundaranar University (MSU) in Tamil Nadu.
Parents of LGBTQ individuals crowd-sources for a movie on parental acceptance of children.
India witnessed its first open transgender wedding, and it received a whole lot of love online.
The first formal parent gathering to offer support to the parents of India’s LGBTQ members was held in Mumbai.
Indian cinema cast its first transexual woman as the leading actress, Anjali Ameer.
An Indian sub-inspector openly married her same-sex partner in Punjab and the couple were supported by family, friends and colleagues.
Two successful Bollywood movies, Aligarh and Kapoor & Sons, made a lot of people happy for their positive depiction of gay identities.
Kochi Metro recruited 23 members of the transgender community, because, why not?