Finally, they can say they are Gay
Columns, In Black & White

Finally, they can say they are Gay

September 8, 2018

When political parties know what is right, but cannot do it, they have a magic mantra they chant which is, “We leave it to the wisdom of the courts.” And thank God our Supreme Court has wise Heads because finally the Apex Court has decriminalised homosexuality.

It is not only an important judgement for the Gay community, but also for our Nation as it puts us on the path to develop a progressive mindset and reminds us that in a modern day Democracy, Constitution sets the tone, not a loud majority view.

And majority of the people view homosexuality as unnatural. They wonder how can a woman sexually desire another woman and not a man? Or how can a man have romantic feelings for another man instead of a woman? This seems unnatural to most of us heterosexuals because we are in majority and the majority decides what is “natural”  and not nature. That is why the Supreme Court while striking down a part of Section 377 said, “Majoritarian views and popular morality cannot dictate Constitutional Rights.”

Thankfully this time the Supreme Court Bench was wiser than the one in 2013. Because in 2013 the Bench of Justices G.S. Singhvi and S. J. Mukhopadhaya reversed the Delhi HC’s 2009 verdict that decriminalised Section 377. These two Judges will forever be remembered for endangering the lives of homosexuals because after the 2009 verdict many Gays came out openly and started living together. By over-turning the judgement after four years to please a coalition of religions, these Judges turned the openly Gay citizens into sitting ducks for extortionists.

The truth is, India was never prudish about sex. Hell, we built a temple for sex — Khajuraho. We have a book on sexual positions — Kamasutra. We had a genre of poetry Rekhti, that describes erotic encounters between women. Our male Gods transform into women and procreate. Our dance forms can be erotic. Our art is rich in sexuality. Our sculptures are full of bosomed women and bare-chested men. We were a very sexual race. A very liberal race.

So when did we become this prudish people that sees sex and skin as something dirty that we have to hide and enjoy? Yes, it’s a British Colonial vestige. It’s ironic that today the British are liberal sexually and intellectually while we have become narrow-minded religious fanatics! They are what we were centuries ago, and we are what they were centuries ago. Ah, how the tables have turned.

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That said Indians are not really homophobic in the sense of the Westerners. In India, you will find men holding hands very often. And people don’t give a second look unlike in the West. This same sex “friendship”  has helped many same sex couples in India avoid the wary conservative eye. And when I was young I used to think they were lucky.

I had two Gay friends in college in Mysore who were a couple. We had an understanding; they could borrow my bike and I could use their room. I was jealous of these guys, because they would hug each other romantically as they rode to scenic spots, they had a big room in Gokulam where they enjoyed cooking and mating, they even held hands in public. Nothing evoked public outrage.  Whereas I was a heterosexual man and I could not take my girl friend on my bike holding me tightly lest someone sees. I had to sneak her to the  room as the landlord would not approve of female companion in his abode, and there was no way I could hold her hand in public.

I felt gays had it easy. They could do all this and they would be seen as “best friends.” I remember that landlord once reprimanding me saying, “Look at them they are good boys, studious and well-behaved. You are a dirty bugger and a bad influence on them.” It was ironic that he called me a dirty bugger, when in fact the boys whom he was praising were the real dirty buggers, because the word bugger means sodomiser or a homosexual! In fact, Section 377 comes from the British Buggery Act of 1533.

Speaking of twists and turns in Gay lives, I had a Gay colleague when working in the US. A white middle-aged Texan man. One day he came to me and in a sly manner said, “Vik I’ve got myself a Brown Bomb, an Indian man. We have been chatting for three months and I’m planning to send him a ticket to visit me.”  Since I was from India, he wanted to know about logistics of travel and ticketing.

I then asked him if I could see a picture of this “brown bomb.” He got excited, took me to his office and shyly clicked on JPEG file on his screen. And behold… the screen was filled with young bare and hair-chested Salman Khan!  Posing with one hand behind his back and looking yearningly into nothing. More Salman photos popped up. I had to tell my Texan friend that this was a movie star in India and he was being baited for a free ticket.

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But this kind of baiting takes a dangerous turn in India as blackmailers lure Gay men and then threaten to have them booked under Section 377 which is 10 years imprisonment.  Now they cannot. In fact, a doctor in Bengaluru was blackmailed and when he filed a complaint the Police booked the blackmailers for extortion and then booked the victim, the doctor too, under Section 377!

Sometimes homosexuals themselves feel isolated. I knew a classmate in Mysuru who committed suicide as he felt he was ‘abnormal.’ He was  popular among the girls but never had a girlfriend and was bullied. I remember when Karan Johar’s movie Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham… came out, they would tease him saying “for you it’s Kabhi PuS*y Khabi Bum.” Before we knew, he had hung himself at a hotel in city.

The world is a complicated place, nature is complicated. The same God who gave us heterosexuals gave us homosexuals and transgenders.  The same nature gave us Gay heroes and geniuses from Alexander the Great to Leonardo da Vinci. For all those who think homosexuals have a psychiatric problem, remember the biggest names in art and technology are homosexuals from Tim Cook CEO of Apple Computers to  movie-maker Ismail Merchant. We have to learn to live and let live. That’s what the Supreme Court has taught us.

Our famous Hindi Director Karan Johar in his memoir wrote, “Everybody knows what my sexual orientation is. I don’t need to scream it out. If I need to spell it out, I won’t only because I live in a country where I could possibly be jailed for saying this. Which is why, Karan Johar will not say the three words that possibly everybody knows about me.”

Well, I guess now, like all homosexuals Karan Johar too can finally say those three words: I am …

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9 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Finally, they can say they are Gay”

  1. Thethreewisemen says:

    Let us put all you have said aside, and the question is , why was Section 377 kept so long even after independence? Indians are hypocrites, as when it is convenient for them, they blame the colonial influence, and when it is not, they quietly keep the colonial inheritance when it suits them. Look at the sport, cricket, a colonial hangover, and when in most countries in the World including Britain football (soccer) reigns supreme, and has become a national sport, India clings onto this boring colonial sport as the major national spectator sport, since it makes a lot of money for those concerned with it!!
    The situation of sexual crimes, particularly incidences of rape and the horrific acts associated with it, meted out to women in the capital city of this country, do not give the impression that India is at ease with sexuality albeit the wittering of the plethora of temple figures and the stories in ancient scriptures. Women are harassed in the streets of cities as a routine , and the warnings given to women outside this country, if they ever have a death wish to visit this country is, “don’t” at your peril”.
    What will be worrying is that , since the homosexuality is now decriminalised, there could be many instances of sexual harassment of men by men, and the incidences similar to what one sees for women.

    • Thethreewisemen says:

      The situation of homosexuality as a crime or at best a sin, has been derived by the interpretation of Bible and Muslim religious scripture. The whole of India under the British Raj, and before, large parts of India under Muslim rule, considered homosexuality as a crime. Section 377 was created before the India, Pakistan partition.
      We bet, the Muslim community in India will not accept this decriminalisation as applied to their population even after the SC judgement. Catholic Indian community may not too.
      In effect, the scrapping of this section has liberated only Hindu homosexuals!!

  2. thestrangeworldyonder says:

    Male God transforming into woman and mating with another Male God , is not the same as male human mating with another male human, the homosexuality. Because, transforming into woman does amount to acquiring all the sexual features of a woman. A male is physiologically structured to mate with a woman,the latter having an appropriate sexual organ made for this purpose by Nature. Similarly in animals.
    The reason why buggery must have been resented with and discouraged with, could be because the destruction the male mating can cause to the anal and the passage beyond of another male, which are not physiologically constructed to handle the act, and hence resulting in extreme muscle-tearing discomfort with repeated acts of this kind,, needing surgery in many cases. That can explain the criminality associated with as a background to the religious stricture mentioned in the above posts.
    Hence, homosexuality is not as harmless as a male holding hand with another male, but what follows with that kind of relationship as alluded to above.
    Finally, a woman, and a man, each acquires the physiological structure , dictated by their unique chromosome pairing, the basis of genetics. Hence, unless there exists a third kind of chromosome pairing to explain why some are born gay-so far no scientist has proved this, one wonders whether homosexuality is Nature’s creation or really the individual’s creation. That explains also, why quite a few heterosexuals also have homosexual tendencies.
    Having said the above, no one should be discriminated against for any reason.

    • Questo says:

      All you had to do was to stop typing that long pointless message and google. You would have found that homosexuality exists in pretty much every species, but homophobia (like the baseless message you have posted here) exists only in humans!!! Essentially, homosexuality is quite natural, it’s the homophobia which is the most unnatural one.

      • thestrangeworldyonder says:

        @Questo. Mating through anus is normal? You are the most ignoramus I have come across! So, male animals routinely mate? Tell me why people become homosexual, as there is no gay gene? Why heterosexuals, some of them ,also are homosexuals-Bisexual? Typical Indian fool. Google is not my source, unlike the plagiarism-practising Indians.

        • thestrangeworldyonder says:

          I am a surgeon in a country which has homosexual marriages. Have used surgery to stitch the torn anus, and I tell you it is not pleasant for the victim, and he injury stays no matter how good the surgery is, and the bleeding and intense pain seldom stop, and interference to the faecal output is enormous.

  3. Agara R says:

    It is welcome decision by the Supreme Court! It is time for a law commission to review colonial laws and modify them to sreflect the post independence society, where necessary. This should be done fairly quickly. Not in 20 years!


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