On new Years eve, when all of us couldn’t wait to get into a new year with high hopes and expectations and forget all about the dramatic turn of events in 2016, the LGBTQI community in India, may never forget 2016 as there was absolutely no turn or reversals for the LGBTQ community.
In 2009, The Delhi High Court changed the law which was later re-ruled by the Supreme Court in 2013. Hundreds of petitions have been filed against the law and several parades and celebrities have come out in support for the LGBTQ community in India.
It is not difficult to understand the Indian Government’s stance on LGBTQ rights. The government not only re-ruled anti-LGBT laws but also refused to vote in favor to the United Nations Human Rights Commission resolution to set up an in independent individual to end discrimination against LGBTQ community.
Shashi Tharoor, Member of Parliament, openly supports the rights of LGBTQ comminuty in India but has not yet gathered enough support. Another bill to ensure the right of transgenders was passed by the Rajya Sabha but is currently with the Standing committee and will have to go through several procedures before being tabled in the Lok Sabha. A law will be a positive step towards the transgender community in India but the real problem of social mindsets still needs to be addressed.
The law failed to be passed in 2016 as more and more restaurants openly refuse entry to gay couples and cases of violence against transgender, there is a silver lining as the topic has now become a ‘debatable topic’ rather than being hushed under cover.
The recently deceased trio of David Bowie, Prince and George Michael reminded the world of the fluidity of gender and sexuality – that being sexually different from the mainstream can be difficult but fun too. In India too, with mainstream movies like Kapoor and Sons portraying the positive side of gay men is the silver lining to all the repressive laws and mindsets.
For FSOG, it’s been a quite a fulfilling year! Our team has grown from 3 to 15 now. We are proud to share Indian LGBT+ stories from across the globe with the help of our correspondents from Australia, UK and USA. We have shared more than 150 LGBT+ stories of struggle and survival with our readers in the last 8 months; our founder, Ms Shubham was invited to talk at a Ted platform held in New Delhi about the importance of Sex Education in Indian schools and what FSOG is doing across India. Watch the TED Talk here: