This Pride Month, look within and reflect

Updated: Jun 06, 2020, 04:23 IST | The Editorial | Mumbai

While this pandemic has seen some discussion about domestic violence, it has been mostly about married heterosexuals where the abuser mostly, but not always, is the male in the relationship

The Queer Azaadi March this year was just a gathering at Azad Maidan held on Saturday. Pics/ Suresh Karkera
The Queer Azaadi March this year was just a gathering at Azad Maidan held on Saturday. Pics/ Suresh Karkera

Amid news about the pandemic and after-effects of Cyclone Nisarga, let us not lose sight of other issues.

June is Pride Month and digitally, the LGBTQ community is marking the month in different ways. Across the world, there are screenings of films and webinars on different topics. It is known as Pride Month in the United States to commemorate the Stonewall riots, which happened at the end of June 1969. Whether celebrating Pride or not, it is important that we remember the cornerstone of Pride. It equals no discrimination, no shame and equality. At a time when the USA is roiled by the death of African American George Floyd, the discrimination stands out sharper than ever before.

While this pandemic has seen some discussion about domestic violence, it has been mostly about married heterosexuals where the abuser mostly, but not always, is the male in the relationship. Given the power dynamic, helplines have been set up by the Women's Commission to report abuse during this period.

What about gay persons who may face abuse at home, also locked in during this period? Are they finding abuse escalating because of this situation? Are they being forced to live with their abusers? With the lockdown, there is no recourse to the outside world, there is little escape, both physically and mentally. One hopes that organisations working in the queer space have thrown helplines which can literally be lifelines to their people.

As the Floyd riots rage and find resonance elsewhere, those guilty of belittling and humiliating people belonging to the LGBTQ community, for this is abuse too, must look within themselves and acknowledge their behaviour warrants change. This Pride Month calls for quiet reflection of this situation and transformation within ourselves.

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