Section 377 Decriminalized – But is the Job Done in 2019?

On September 6, 2018, the Supreme Court of India decriminalized sex between two consenting adults of the same sex. A five-judge constitutional bench, headed by Deepak Misra, the Chief Justice of India, repealed the judgement of 2013 which had criminalized sexual intercourse between same-sex adults. This decision came as a breath of fresh air for India as its citizens now look at the country’s future with hope and optimism. Many celebrities took to Twitter to express their joy and support for the verdict, including Karan Johar, Sachin Tendulkar, Diana Penty, and many others.

Very recently, former Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir was found attending the inauguration of Hijra Habba in New Delhi, which was an event organized by HIV/AIDS Alliance India to empower transgenders. Pictures of Gambhir wearing a saree and bindi to support the cause have gone viral on social media.

It is no doubt, a joyous occasion that love finally has no boundaries in our country, at least legally. However, the moot question is, will the stigma in our society regarding same-sex relations also end as a result of this?

The SC has surely done its deed, and must be thanked for declaring the long sought verdict. But, there is still a long way to go before we get rid of the stigma in society. Same-sex relations, though now legal, will be hard to accept for those living by the conventional beliefs. Think about it. Is it that easy to get people to respect a group of people whom they have been degrading and mocking for years? The answer is probably no.  It is no secret that gays and transgenders have always been made fun of, whether in our films and T.V. shows, or in real life.

On the day section 377 was decriminalized, Arnub Nandy, a 25 year old man from Mumbai, shared his awe-inspiring story on Facebook of disclosing his sexual identity to his parents. Unlike what one would usually expect, his parents were extremely supportive, as could be seen in the picture he posted in which they’re proudly holding a banner saying, “My son is not a criminal anymore.”

It certainly won’t be a smooth road to sensitization of people towards the LGBTQIA. However, it is stories like these which give us a sense of hope that things are changing, and that one day love will become truly boundary-less, and not just legally!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *