When your work requires you to meet new people on a daily basis, you tend to develop a worldview and sensibilities that go beyond judgement and view everyone without prejudice or bias. Our next ally in the “I Am an Ally” series, Princeton Ugoeze Aguocha seems to me to be one of those people.
A 24-year old karaoke host, model and “wannabe musician”, he is of the view that everyone’s equal, no matter where they come from or what their background is.
A heterosexual male, he supports the LGBTQIA community without understanding why they need any support at all.
“As I see it, they aren’t inferior or different in any way; they’re just better than the rest of us,” he says.
Over the years, he has found several friends in the community and cannot praise them enough.
“Honestly, I haven’t yet met one gay person who hasn’t amazed me. I haven’t met a non-talented gay person in my life. They just seem to have it all together somehow. They just somehow wake up fabulous and are constant reminders of my inability to do exactly that.”
On Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, that criminalises carnal and unnatural sexual acts and not homosexuality as most people believe it does, he bluntly says, “It is a stupid, draconian law that worked at one time because some British guy felt like putting his big ego to use. Times have changed, and we don’t live in a time where such stupidity can work”
The conditions for LGBTQIA people are worse even since there aren’t enough safe spaces for them around.
“Well, if there are, they’re doing a very good job of hiding themselves”, is Princeton’s take, “in every public place, there will be someone looking to crack a mean, snarky comment to make people uncomfortable for no apparent reason.”
The conversation veers to the infamous f word- Feminism and Princeton declares himself a feminist with the view that people are all equal and that every situation must be given a thought, which is why he also feels that the greatest challenge the LGBTQIA community faces in India today is the “lack of common sense people exhibit”.
“You do not have to indulge in something to accept it. People’s sexuality or gender does not affect you in any way and I don’t understand why people fail to realise that. From how I see it, maybe homosexuality is a natural evolutionary element. For all we know, it could be the most natural contraceptive there is. A large number of same sex couples look to raise children and since they can’t bear them, it doesn’t just work towards controlling the birth rate and population growth but also contributes to increase in adoption of children and provides happier homes to orphaned and abandoned children. I don’t see why there should be any issue with that.”
To counter this regressive mindset of the people, he believes the most important step is to start early.
“Once people reach a certain age, it gets really difficult for them to change their deep rooted beliefs and to adapt to new views. Thus, it is necessary to educate them about this from an early age itself to make it easier for them to look at people in a more inclusive way, without judgement”
To conclude, I ask him to describe the LGBTQIA community in three words, and here’s what he has to say.
“Fabulous, fabulous and fabulous!”