Section 377, In 2018 the Supreme Court of India legalized same-sex relationships in the country as a step towards equality. The main concern for not doing this before was social outrage, but then we decided equality was more important. What we didn’t do though, was make sure that along with being equal legally, the LGBT community would be accepted socially too.
Recently, a lesbian couple in Tamil Nadu committed suicide fearing separation because of disapproval from their families. The women, namely Jothi and Priya met at their workplace. Jothi had a daughter with her husband that she was separated from. The two women were in a relationship and were scared that their families would never accept their relationship. But the real problems began when Priya’s family arranged her marriage. The two women were found hanging in Jothi’s apartment. The narrow-mindedness of society has cost us lives that could’ve made society a much better place to live in.
It would console one if this were an isolated incident but well, it’s not. Just a few days ago, a girl in Kerala committed suicide because she did not feel accepted for who she was and was being treated poorly by her family. She was forced to undergo conversion therapy, and gave into mental distress and gave her life in Goa, where she was on a vacation with her friends.
But equality was promised to the people of India.
Incidents like these raise force us to ask ourselves, whether we will ever really be free, and equal; because we surely aren’t right now. Why is it, that even when the law insists we be more open-minded, we choose, as a country, to live in our little bubble of ignorance and privilege? Why is it that we find it more important to stick to our medieval and frankly, dumb opinions even at the cost of disregarding someone’s existence and even as much as taking lives? Why are we letting lack of awareness become a hindrance to the equality that our constitution promises to our citizens? Do our opinions hold more value than somebody’s identity?
And even though that’s what the news said 2 years ago, are we really done with section 377?