Homosexual, homo sapien ?

I am Sunil S. Traditionally my family are Kshatriyas, trained to fight other men. I guess I’m the exception. I was married once, but it ended quickly and badly. How was I to tell my parents that I’m not attracted to girls?

My mother, of course, is trying to get me hitched again. (She’s like in serious denial, poor thing) All my siblings are shaadi shuda with millions of baccha kachas running around. I dread family gatherings, posing for portrait photographs and my nosey bhabhis asking me, ‘Still single?’”

Illustration/Amit Bandre

You see I’m not some ‘homo’ type, got it. I don’t hang out at Oval Maidan or stalk little boys at Cooperage. I’m not some cross-dressing fairy, prancing around at Voodoo every night.

I’m not the effeminate, stereotypical cliché of the homosexual male either, high-pitch voiced, flowery shirt-clad, behaving like Robin Williams in The Bird Cage. I work like hell at appearing ‘normal’ to the world; the fatigue to keep the charade going is immense. To live a lie your whole life, it’s tough.

I work in a software firm, we often go out for a drink, my team, all the guys talking about chicks, you know how ‘boy’s nights’ are. The evenings always begin with jokes — initially Santa Banta types. But as the veins get lined with booze, out come the vicious gay bashing gags. And I just force myself to smile.

It amazes me the attitude Indians still have towards the gay community. We’re looked at like outcasts. Conditioning is strong, same sex love is seen as unnatural. People might pity spastics, but they’re petrified of us, double X chromosomers.

You see, this new Supreme Court ruling on us, is medieval. (ironical that the Pope has given us his blessings). But I’m not surprised, frankly. Finally these are a bunch of bigoted Indian men passing judgement. It’s laughable that they’re still debating the fate of 16-year-old juveniles. But us homosexuals, we’re doomed.

What interests me, however, is the response to the judgement — the heterosexual social networkers and outraged masses, are gobsmacked by this Draconian law.

Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the support. But I don’t understand this sudden surge of outrage. There has always been an age- old, deep-seated resentment toward homosexuals. The question is most people’s head is are we homo sapien or a tribe of freaks popularly termed faggots? So while the Section 377 ruling is barbaric, we’ve always been brutally marginalised.

The ruling may be reversed, but will the regressive attitude change?

Will the gay child be welcome in most homes? Will the gay adult be admitted into the workspace?

So hey, we may be saved from going to jail. But will we always remain in the closet?

Rahul da Cunha is an adman, theatre director/playwright, photographer and traveller. Reach him at rahuldacunha62

The views expressed in this column are the individual’s and don’t represent those of the paper.¬†

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