Friday, July 8, 2016


We've all heard the term, 'homophobia.' Most of us think to ourselves, 'That's not me. Didn't I drape my profile picture on facebook in rainbow colours to support them? Do I ever abuse them orally or physically? And don't I support their rights?' 

In India, the majority do have a, 'live and let live' attitude. Most of us support the homosexual community, but there are more ways than outright abuse to harm our minority LGBT+ community. The major culprit is ignorance. And perhaps, indifference. We are heterosexual, and homosexuality doesn't really concern us. 

Today, I would like to show how homosexuality does concern all of us.

If someone says, "It is unnatural,' what is our reaction? Do we feel angry but lack the courage to defend the LGBT+ community? Or do we feel forced to concede it is so? If it is the latter, it is because we are ignorant. It is because many of us, inside our hearts believe it is unnatural. But more than that, it is because we haven't bothered to find out for ourselves and say with conviction it isn't. We've kept away. There is only so much support we are capable of giving.

After reading the plethora of information available online - information from reliable sources, we come to know that about 7% of the population is born homosexual. They are not capable of entering into a physical relationship with people of the opposite sex. And humans aren't the only ones. It happens throughout the animal kingdom.

Even if we knew the fact, there's Bollywood and the way they portray the LGBT+ community that holds us back from giving our unstinting support. Here's one article on the subject  

So, how do we know we have these unconscious biases? Here's a challenge. Next time you see a pride march, observe your reaction. Do you walk past or drive past in a hurry? Do you hurry your kids past? Or do you pause to watch? Perhaps smile at their enjoyment? That should give you an indication. 

There's a lot we could do to overcome our biases.  

  • join Indian LGBT+ sites 
  • get to know individuals as individuals and not only by their sexual orientation
  • follow Godrej’s example for inclusive policies and policies of gay rights at the office
  • wave or even walk part of the way during gay parades
  • comment on videos or articles on the LGBT+ community… 
If you have more suggestions please do let me know either through the comments section or via email and I'll include them in the post. Please remember, unnecessarily rude comments will be deleted.

Here’s a beautiful series I watched recently - All About Article 377 . Don’t get fooled by the title. It is mostly about fun, young individuals living in Mumbai - some gay and some not. An interesting plot and the acting is superb.  

Final thought. First, an article debunking 5 Myths About Gay People on the LIVE SCI=ENCE website. 

Next, a question. Why should we work on our unconscious bias? 

Half baked or dhachu-pachu support for any cause falls into the hands of  the violent, in this case,  homophobic individuals who believe they can mentally or physically abuse homosexuals and get away with it. 

The violent have only one thing on their minds - power through violence. All else has failed for most of them. They disguise their desire for violence in various ways - homosexuals are perverts. women invite rape by wearing provocative clothes, servants don't know their place, a community's eating habits or strange rituals...

How could I forget cruelty to Animals?

The way to fight homophobia is to be informed and have the courage of our convictions. If most of us are (naturally) scared to stand up to the violent, if most of us are peace loving and non-interfering how do we do that? Do we simply let them go ahead and perpetrate their violence? Do we hand over our country and the future into their hands? Do we ignore our humanity when we see violence perpetrated by bullies on their victims? 

Here's an alternative. We get organised. (The violent certainly have.) We get together with others like us. Where do we meet others like us? Here's a post on how best to get organised. The suggestion is simple and effective. 

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1 comment:

  1. Link to Barkha's interview with pulitzer prize winning author and scientist, Siddhartha Mukherjee, about his new book, "The Gene."