The young are brave. And they are living in a more liberal world than previous generations. So individual desires that used to be repressed or kept secret, are now more openly expressed. More and more non-heterosexual relationships are refusing to stay in the shadows. The rainbow flag celebrates their joy of being out, being visible, living in the truth.
This is not to deny continuing resistance from the most conservative flanks of modern social and civic institutions, which are in need of reform. A historic reform was when the Supreme Court unanimously read down the colonial era Section 377 that had criminalised “unnatural” sex. And in another significant stirring message, yesterday the Madras high court suggested a ban on health professionals attempting to “cure or change” the sexual orientation of LGBTQIA persons, and urged medical associations to take action against those practising such attempts.
Also read: Madras high court bans ‘cure’ for LGBTIQA+ members
As the UN report against conversion therapy points out, “The attempts to pathologize and erase the identity of individuals, negate their existence as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans or gender diverse and provoke self-loathing have profound consequences on their physical and psychological integrity and wellbeing.” Often such attempts amount to torture. They have no scientific basis. Individuals should not be forced into normative heterosexual cages.
This year India’s Pride parades will have to go virtual because of the pandemic. But thanks to Judge N Anand Venkatesh, there is reason for the community to raise a big cheer.
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