Have you heard the song ‘Love is Love’ by Chris Viola? It is pure beauty that is expressed with confusion and longing that creates the most beautiful picture of what it feels like to love someone you’re ‘not supposed to’.
When I was a little girl, I felt really uncomfortable around members of the LGBTQ community. Part of this feeling was influenced by the society I was born and brought up in. From the day I learnt about why people identify themselves as a gender that doesn’t fit into the gender binary, I decided that I was going to speak up for the community at every opportunity I got. I decided to do this because I believe that conversation is a tremendously powerful tool that can initiate thoughts and groom them to result in miraculous actions that can help build back a shattered society in a space that is no longer safe and inclusive.
The members of the queer community in India are forced to live hellishly. They are stripped of their identity and their feelings from the very day they begin to explore their gender identity.
They grow up watching males and females having relationships and feelings towards each other and feel it to be just as peculiar as we tend to feel their interests are. They only ask for everyone to accept them for the person they are, just like each and every one of us do.
The law protects us from having to marry or stay married to someone we don’t love. We have the opportunity and support to live our lives with those we want to. However, those same, meagre rights are not available to millions of queer people around the globe.
They are not only stripped of the chance to express themselves but of every single opportunity in life. They don’t get the same career opportunities that are available to us due to the mindset of employers. They do not get basic health opportunities that are available to us. They don’t even get the same respect from the society that is available to us.
The other day, I was shopping at the supermarket and overheard a woman telling another how annoyed she was with all the LGBTQ rallies and pride parades. She said that it was not necessary. I would have agreed with her as they are just like every other person and shouldn’t have to conduct rallies to show their pride for their gender and sexual orientation. But, unfortunately, they aren’t being treated like the binary genders and straight people. Just like how women held rallies and protests back when they were fighting for the right to vote, the rainbow community is holding rallies to show us that they are proud of who they are. If they are happy with who they are and accept themselves for who they are, they do not need approval from anyone to follow their dreams, express themselves, and what they love!
In a world that is brimming with hatred, everyone should be allowed to love. It doesn't matter what gender or orientation we identify ourselves with. We are all humans. We see the same world, drink the same water, walk on the same land that we will all eventually be buried under at the end of our lives. We must learn to accept one another. We are human after all!