A letter to all ‘well meaning’ people who think we don’t need Pride Marches or to talk about homosexuality at all!

​”I am all for LGBT rights but why do you people have to be so loud and flamboyant?”

“I think 377 should be removed but Pride marches should be banned.”

“I understand it’s not a choice but really who cares what you do in bedrooms. Why shout about it on the streets?”

“377 is not even enforced. Just don’t talk about gay sex, no one is checking your bedrooms.”

“People like you are the reason why no one supports LGBT rights. You make everyone uncomfortable with your parades and vulgar talks about sex.”

You know what? Just fuck off. If you think by just saying ‘i don’t mind gay people’ you are being supportive, you are not. You are just saying you are indifferent and it doesn’t matter. Which is fine, which is great, which is quite preferable. But don’t pretend that you care.

Indifference is not the same as actually caring. And when the biggest issue about standing for our cause to you is the ‘inconvenience’ of having to hear us talk about sexuality,watch us openly asking for our rights, see us celebrating our existence and being counted as a part of the society, then fuck you and your ‘pity’.

You don’t get to demand and dictate how we ask for our rights, as if you would have cared or advocated for us if we chose to sit quietly. We are not fighting to convince you anything, we are not asking for your ‘pity’ or ‘sympathy’. We are fighting to be left alone, to have the shackles of regressive laws removed from the private parts of our lives, to reclaim our own space in our society and country.

You don’t have to look at us if you don’t want to, you don’t have to hear us if you don’t want to. You can go on pretending we don’t exist as you have for ages. But don’t dare to ask us to quiet down our voice or tone down our visibility because it makes you ‘uncomfortable’ or ‘inconvenient’.

You know what is uncomfortable and inconvenient? To have to explain and justify your personal lives, your intimate relationships, your sexual choices or lack thereof to each and everyone. To have to lie and hide integral parts of your identity, your personality from your closest friends and family because you could be humiliated, mocked, isolated, locked up, beaten up or even killed. To feel that you owe an explanation to everyone as to why you are the way you are

So if you think your discomfort and inconvenience you feel from us coming out and talking about ourselves and celebrating our existence is excuse enough for us to shut up.

Just fuck off.

Pride: The Mumbai Chapter [31/01/2015]

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So just been to my 2nd pride march! Queer Azaadi Movement! I m trying to stick to my promise of attending as much of such events that I can….he…he…he. However until the last minute I wasnt even sure I would go or not. On saturday I woke up at 7:30 had my bath, packed my essentials and set off towards Mumbai. Had to change 2 buses to get to the Main bus terminus…then got off at Sion, took another bus to Mumbai Central and walked from there to August Kranti Maidan. By the time I reached it was already 2:30 and people had already started gathering. I could see the variety of people that had showed up in all kinds of costumes and dresses. And sheer number of people were astounding! There were already thousands and more and more were pouring in.
Now I was stuck with a weird dilemma. This was my first visit to Mumbai and I was all alone, I started frantically to look for any familiar face  so as not to feel too awkward and my luck favored when I spotted Anuvab….we met only on Facebook but I recognised him easily enough. It didnt feel at all like we were meeting the first time and we gelled really well and clicked pics. In fact all the pics I have were clicked by him as my already useless phone had also ran out of battery and I hadnt had the chance of charging it.

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By now some people had gathered on the stage and I had not even recognised Harish Iyyer, one of the leading members of the community who had also appeared with Amir Khan on his show ‘Satyamev Jayate’.
He gave his opening speech, and really impressed and enthralled everyone with his witty and humorous take on the concerned issues and Sec 377. He also did not forget to thank all the organisers, the media, the police and all straight allies as well. After which many other prominent members and supporters of the community also took the chance to send a message or shout slogans. Amongst them were Sushant Digvikar of Bigg Boss fame, his father, a proud mother of a lesbian girl and a proud girl of two lesbian mothers. Harish even asked for participants to come up on stage whence I took my chance to get up on stage and tell them how I felt….that though I had come alone for the first time to this city it felt like I had come home. By then all my initial awkwardness had vanished and I now felt one with the crowd. Oh…and I also got my face painted there, a blazing Sun on my left cheek and an anti-377 sign on my right. We were given pride flags and badges and as the march started it felt soo fabulous (yes i can use that word, i am gay). There was a huuuge pride flag that about 10-15 people were holding and waving through the entire march. At one point many people even marched right under it. And there were so many uniquely and beautifully dressed people, the versatility of the crowd really blew my mind. I also took my chance to eye all the eye candies I had no chance with :D. We marched for about 1 hours through streets, the names of which I dont remember.
And through the entire march everyone enjoyed….some were busy photographing, some were making sure that the march didnt congest traffic, some were making sure to clean any litter left by marchers and some were dancing to the beats of the drums.
In that one hour nothing else mattered, everyone was just being themselves, something that they are denied most of the time in society. It was not just a cry for help, it was a show of strength. The honorable Supreme Court of India has denied our rights, dismissing us a ‘minuscle’ portion of public. Well now the entire country could see just how ‘minuscle’ we are. We are out, we are proud and we are here to stay.

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What Pride means to me…….[Pune Pride march 11/9/2014]

‘What does pride mean to you?’. That’s a question I have heard many people ask. I finally have an answer for it; to me Pride means to accept the things I dont need to change and be proud of how far I have come from being ashamed of myself to taking to the streets and shouting at the top of my voice that I am gay and that’s ok. To me Pride means freedom, self respect and hope that no other kid has ever have to feel ashamed of who they are.

I had languished for years in the closet so deep i had managed to fool even myself but 3 years ago i started breaking down the closet door one piece at a time. With each stroke i gained back my self respect and confidence. And today i finally managed to demolish the closet all at one go.

Pune Pride March of 9th November 2014, marks my first participation as an open and out gay person in a public event. And believe me it will not be the last. I will cherish all my memories of the experience; the euphoria, the strength, the power of unity and the burning hope. These feelings are burnt into my heart. And how I wish we could have this events every month. To feel so connected to a crowd of strangers that you feel more close to them than family, i will miss it.

I am glad I came to Pune and luck favored so that I could be a part of it. I regret having missed the first pride march in my home city Guwahati. But I will try my best to be part of all such events that take place in whichever part of the world I am in.

Thank you Sampathik Trust, thank you Pune city and thank you all the wonderful people that came and participated. Thank you all for these wonderful memories and feelings.

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How the Supreme Court of India failed 30 million Indians

‘I was deeply sadenned by the verdict…’ Watch the live interview of the former Chief Justice of Delhi High Court who had held Sec377, his reaction on the SC’s recent judgement

On 11 December 2013, the Supreme Court of India declared the ruling of the lower High Court of Delhi invalid and reinstated Sec 377, which the lower court had declared unconstitutional as it violated the fundamental right of all LGBT people.
Sec 377 basically criminalizes all sexual acts ‘against order of nature’ i.e all penile-oral and penile-anal sex. Offenders can be arrested and sentenced to a term of 10 years.

The High Court’s decision was challenged on the grounds of protecting morality and Indian culture against ‘western influence’. Ironically this law was introduced by the British during their 200 year Colonial rule of India to protect their women and children from ‘Oriental vices’. Their conservative mindset was shocked by the rich and open sexual culture of India that was evident from all the erotic temple sculptures and the ancient and worlds most popular sex manual the ‘Kamasutra’. While this archaic law was repealed in Britain itself in 1967, India it seems is still unable to shake off its Colonial past.

The biased judgement of the two judges of the Supreme Court is wrong on a lot of accounts. The following points explore the reasoning given behind the judgement:

1) A ‘miniscule portion’ of the population has fundamental rights too. The argument that the law affects only few people does not excuse the court of failing to defend the rights of those few.

2)Only 200 people have been convicted under SEC377. So only 200 people had their rights violated by the system responsible for ensuring justice. And this is negligible because its not the duty of the court to dispense justice to 200 people?

3) Only 200 people may have been convicted under SEC377 but this law has been used by police to extort thousands of LGBT individuals. Is it not the duty of the court to remove a law that allows the exploitation of innocent public?

4)Public morality cannot be the basis of determining the Constitutional validity of any law. If so there would be no need of a court, public vote should be used to decide every trial. The court failed its duty in passing the buck to the Parliament

5) The argument that SEC377 does not criminalize any community, just some acts is redundant. All leading psychiatric and medical associations has already discredited the theory that homosexuality is a disease or that sexual orientation can be changed. The current president of the World Psychiatric Association, Dr. Dinesh Bhugra is Indian and gay himself. So by criminalizing sexual acts that are inherent for carnal intercourse for homosexual people the court is forcing them to choose a life of celibacy or be jailed.