Read, review and rebel for a better, LGBT friendly India

Well, hello to at all the sheep and leeches tweeting, tagging and tumbling on social media. I get it. You want to support Ireland and the United States for finally wising up to the issue of homosexuality. It was a huge victory for the LGBT community, champions of equality and humanity in general. Now, every man and woman, regardless of sexuality, has equal rights to get married, undergo an emotionally exhausting divorce and be miserable like everyone else.

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So, let’s support them and congratulate them on their well-fought victory.

These guys sure did and in fact, took full fruitful advantage of the situation.

But here’s a question for all the uninformed social media devotees in India. What are you all excited and euphoric about? Don’t forget where the majority of India stands on the issue. Here and here. The act itself is a crime in India and most people haven’t yet wrapped their head around the idea. So, don’t just blindly jump on the social media bandwagon. While the Americans have reached the peak of Mount Equality, we’re yet to take our first step in this Sisyphean process.

Social media conditions the ignorant into doing things they don’t quite comprehend. For many, the “Celebrate Pride” was just yet another Instagram filter and cool thing to do. Most of us who have never watched a boxing bout in our lives, suddenly pretended to be experts on it, with people tweeting support for Pacquiao and Mayweather. Don’t become mindless yes-men. Transform yourself into something more.  Don’t just pretend to be progressive, because it’s the voguish Western thing to do. Understand the issue.

Let me make a confession. I used to make snippy, derogatory comments like, “that’s so gay!” and slanderously use the word, “faggot.” I knew what I meant and I did not use it the way Louis CK apparently uses it. They are obviously characteristic statements made by a person with low self-esteem, who needs to constantly affirm his masculinity by putting down others. In retrospect, I regret doing it and I apologise to anyone who was offended by it.

For all of us pop-culture lovers, do you remember the “Not that there’s anything wrong with that” moments in the ever-amusing sitcom, Seinfeld? The show obviously tries to recognize a straight man’s palpable anxieties about his masculinity. Obviously intended as a disclaimer when one is wrongly surmised as being gay, the phrase reveals a paradox of sorts of the heterosexual man’s anxiety towards gay men. While he does not want to be branded as homophobic, he doesn’t want to be wrongly alleged as gay either. It exemplifies a classic dilemma of the heterosexual man. Though, the show depicts the whole thing in a comical manner, it makes us realise our insecurity.

Why India is a long way from accepting the LGBT community?

Principally, it seems like the right and sensible thing to do. But the biggest hurdle in India’s way is Indian society in itself. A primarily conservative one, it will use preposterous excuses of “culture” and “religion” to anathemize the gay community.

Most people in India don’t understand the issue well enough. They think of homosexuality as a “here-today-gone-tomorrow” phase that one eventually grows out of. They need to be educated that it’s not an illness that can be treated or a temporary phase. But what can be treates is their regressive illness and with hope, they can soon grow out of their temporary phase of ignorance. And so can you, the unwitting social media stooge.

It should begin with awareness of the issue. Awareness that people from the LGBT community are normal human beings, like “you” and “me”. So, here’s a suggestion to all news snackers and pointless tweeters. Read, review and then rebel. Read up about the issue. Review the problem to form an educated opinion. Then, rebel against an ignorant, retrograde society.

Obviously, we’re still decades behind. Considering we come from a conservative culture where sex itself is a taboo, it’s not going to be an easy task convincing your parents, cousins, kin and friends. But we must enlighten them about these issues for the betterment of society and India.

Support and congratulate the Irish and the Americans on their achievement but rebel against our own ignorance at the same time.

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