In a recent visit, a senior poet friend very hesitatingly informed the reason why her daughter didn’t make it to India. I was curious if there could be anything particular than time constraint or visa issue. When my friend gained a little confidence in me, she confided that her daughter falls outside the conventional spectrum.
I asked, what is that? Does she have any physical challenges that determine her mobility? My friend said her daughter would prefer the personal pronoun, “They.” That made it clear that her daughter is non-binary. But, that piqued mt interest even more. I asked her that did her orientation bar her from an Indian Visa?
I was quite amazed about what the world thinks of India till today. I realized how much work the youth of the country has to do to reset our country’s impression abroad. I told my friend that the Supreme Court of India had legalized Section 377, which allows same-sex people to get married without any social objection. It only objects bestiality or politely put paedophilia, but why should we worry because not every Muslim is a terrorist, not every LGBTQIA is sexually deviant.
In an article in the Washington Post, Rajesh Sampath writes, ” Meanwhile, in the United States, the cultural and legal perception of gender is strictly binary. Here, we legalize identities based on oppositions, such as heterosexuality and homosexuality, but have a hard time imagining pluralistic gender categories. Take, for example, Kentucky’s proposed “Student Privacy Act,” which would ban transgender students from entering school restrooms and locker rooms that don’t correspond to their sex assigned at birth.”
What still irks me is the way positive news from developing countries is always sidelined. While newspapers do include such articles, but they don’t promote it. These stories and facts are treated like garnish on some pseudo-intellectual lobbies trying to win the membership of most progressive communities. Yes, India is not free of biases, but name me a country where politicians do not use these differences as devices to maintain their positions?
Are the LGBTQIA Normal people?
Of course, yes. They are as normal and ABLE as you and I. Why do you have to look into their pants to decide their normalcy? If someone does not think that you are a man, should he be allowed to zip you down and confirm your sex? This question is ridiculous. In fact, they live on a higher plain that the heteronormative community can never experience. It means their experience of the world is richer than ours. Their thrust toward living is an important component of innovation, and they must be granted equal space.
What should the World Know about the Indian LGBTQIA Community?
The world should know, particularly, the US & the UK, followed by China, that India may not be the wealthiest country of all, but does have a heart of gold that Pakistan knows of very well. Anyway, a country starts with its people. It has been tough for the country to have all its people on the same page about rights and respect that the LGBTQIA community deserves, but hey, we have overcome the shit. Our Millennial are educated, our businesses are sharp, and sexual orientation would be the last most despicable discrimination reserved for any human.
Does India Recognize the Non-Binary?
Sure. The first world has money that ensures comfort for all, thus ensuring restricted exposure of the non-binary to the heterosexual society. In India, ravaged by the British and consecutively by our self-appointed Sandhu and politicians, the community could not take shelter in financial security. They worked very hard; they brought their vulnerability to beg for a living and that seeded compassion which has now grown into a bamboo grove. India does celebrate Pride March. India does have the constitution in full support of the community. In fact, many Indian Gods are gays and lesbians, but mortal humans continue to worship them.
Firki on Zee Bangla
Firki is a narrative of a transgender mom and her daughter. Zee Bangla is a regional channel reaching out to extreme villages where people are still alien to the idea of books. Imagine, if it were not the support of the community at large, could a TV channel dare showcase such stories. I am sorry that our journey hasn’t been on the riches of the first world; we still have women and men raped and brutalized. But we do understand love (on a lighter note: China knows it very well). In India, across classes, there have been many successful non-binary marriages. Tell you the truth, the dick and the cunt don’t produce love but secrete fluid. What ejects love is the heart.
Should we Keep away our Children from the Non-Binary?
i) Keep away your children from anybody who is a threat, but you must have evidence to implement your judgement. Let the child speak. Let their behaviour indicate, and you have the counsellor to reveal it all for you.
ii) Tell your children stories of the misery experienced by the LGBTQIA humans on the road, the rights that they are denied, their potential to grow, and sacks of stories they always carry waiting for an empathetic listener.
iii) Make friends with a transgender person on the road. Meet them at your convenience with your children. Call them to to your sad and happy parties. Share food and give them the support they need. They are not going to put their dick on your plate.
iv) End of it, there is the law to protect every human. If you feel violated, let the person know what isn’t working with you or makes you uncomfortable. They are very adjustable people and members of the civilized community. They will listen.
For none of the above, there isn’t any damn need to keep your children from the LGBTQIA community.
A Note to the World LGBTQIA Fraternity
On behalf of my country, with the rights of Indian citizenship, I welcome you to visit India without any fear. Unfortunate events may happen anywhere, but we do have an active judiciary. If the judiciary is slacking, you know we have several NGOs and Universities where you can find support groups for you. The world is a sad place when it comes to recognizing human rights, but within that, there’s the ray of hope. So, if you are planning a visit to India, come over. If you are in Kolkata, say me a Hi! We all are one. Our pants don’t divide us.
With this, I wait for my friend to convey this story to her daughter, hoping she finds confidence in the truth I have spoken and decides to travel to our multi-cultural India. Come to India, meet people who are in the hustle as much you are. Maybe together you can bring a more impactful change?