Colour me … rainbow!!

We as humans in order to remain sane and manage our own sensibilities have tried to put conditions, define boundaries. And set rules for almost every “thing” (and non-thing).

Like someone someday decided that day comes before night and we decided to simply follow it as the truth. Thankfully science has progressed enough to help us test most of these theories and now we know what, why and how of most things we see and do.

But what about our feelings, our emotions? Even the science of language defines them as Abstract…will there ever be a scientific equation to what we should feel or towards whom? And more importantly do we want it be to governed by a set of guidelines?

Imagine a 10-year-old who suddenly felt different; liked different things than others of the same gender – was constantly mocked at the way of walking, talking and dressing. Was encouraged to express all the feelings except the one that needed an outlet. Was pushed to lead and stand up for the rights of others but shunned when it came to a single right that was truly important. Accepted for the hate they had for several but, rejected for the love they had for one!!

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender in India have faced legal and social struggles for centuries. Most LGBT people in India remain closeted, fearing discrimination from their families, and others who might view their sexual preferences as shameful and unnatural.

Accounts of honour killings, attacks, torture, and beatings of members of the LGBT community are not unusual in India. Over the past decade, LGBT people have gained more tolerance in India , most of which is limited to large cities. Discrimination and ignorance are particularly high in rural areas, where LGBT people often face rejection from their families and forced opposite-sex marriages.

As a society we are completely consenting of who we dislike, treat unfairly or disrespect and most of the time agree with the associated reasons given of caste, creed, social status etc. But are we equally welcoming of individuals who choose to love…love without a reason…irrespective of cast, creed or gender?? I think not.

So, in essence we are more tolerant of destruction, hurt, pain, anger than we are of love, passion, romance, happiness. Now that’s something to think about!!

The LGBT social struggle has been a part of our history since as early as 1950s. The movement have focused on several different aspects raining from equal rights to marriage equality have is the struggle for equality and marriage rights or gay liberation for gay, lesbian and transgendered people. USSR’s Criminal Code of 1922 de-criminalized homosexuality. This was a remarkable step in the USSR at the time. Immediately following World War II, a number of homosexual rights groups came into being or were revived across the Western world, in Britain, France, Germany, the Netherlands, the Scandinavian countries and the United States.

This new radicalism however is often attributed to the Stonewall riots of 1969, when a group of gay men, lesbians, and drag queens at a bar in New York resisted a police raid. The struggles and movements continued across the world and several prominent individuals got associated with it.

In 1977, Harvey Milk was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors becoming the first openly gay man in the United States elected to public office. Milk was however assassinated by a former city supervisor Dan White in 1978.

A lot of transpired since then. The Netherlands was the first country to allow same-sex marriage in 2001. Following with Belgium in 2003 and Canada in 2005. As of 2016, same-sex marriages are also recognized in Sweden, Argentina, Iceland, Ireland, Norway, South Africa, Spain, Portugal, Denmark, Uruguay, Brazil, France, Colombia, New Zealand, Mexico, Israel (though not performed there), United Kingdom, and the United States. South Africa became the first African nation to legalize same-sex marriage in 2006, and is currently the only African nation where same-sex marriage is legal.

After several years of silent protest and muted tears… a ray of hope has emerged in India as well. On 6 September 2018, the Supreme Court of India decriminalised homosexuality by declaring Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code unconstitutional.

The Apex Court unanimously ruled that individual autonomy, intimacy, and identity are protected fundamental rights.Glad that we are now ready and as a nation and set so many 10, 20, 30, 40, 50-year olds free from bias, restrictions, and fear!

Hope we now begin to build a society away from an environment filled with depression, oppressed emotions, and fear to the one of freedom of expression, courage and determination!

Ever wondered why Red, the colour of blood and fire, is associated with meanings of love, passion, desire, heat, longing, lust, sexuality, sensitivity, romance, joy, strength, leadership, courage, vigour, willpower, vibrancy, radiance, and determination? Because you need all these emotions to truly love someone ….no wonder a simple Blue or a Pink cannot define its boundaries!!

It’s a long journey and there is still much to be done…but a beginning has been made on this road to the rainbow where emotions are not colour specific…

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