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Home » Opinion » Roots of Homophobia: Has Life Changed After Abolishing 377?

Roots of Homophobia: Has Life Changed After Abolishing 377?

Homosexuality was removed from the DSM-4 in 1973 itself, while WHO cleared the status of homosexuality as a disease in 1990.

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Roots of Homophobia : Has Life Changed After Abolishing 377?

Hailing from a country where the line between the public and the private is conveniently blurred, it’s not hard to believe that the spectrum of conventional morality suppresses a queer individual’s personal identity and agency, rendering them as outcast ‘diasporas’ within their own community.

Modus Operandi of the oppressive social fabric remains the same even after one year of abolishment of Section 377 since only minute dents have been made towards the upliftment and empowerment of the LGBT community. The loopholes in policy sphere where no anti-discriminatory laws have been passed which ensure freedom of expression, there is a still a blanket of vulnerability around the members. India, though this is a land of linguistic and regional plurality, however, some issues are ignored and are easily left out of public conversation. This problem if not addressed soon has the potential to snowball into a community crisis.

The Political Quest for A Safe Space

When it comes to self and sexual identity , stigma and stereotypes pertaining to the same-sex orientation  are heavily internalized by the masses. Intersectional feminism is on the rise combined with various other movements have had a culminating effect and made serious  positive dents in the perception of people towards the queer community which leads to two cultural and political advantages  – less fanatic crimes and revolution in self-identities as safe spaces for indivual expression become more accessible.

With the abolishment of Section 377 on 6th September 2018, things have started to look up for the queer community but the evolution of perspective is thwarted as many conservatives choose to conform to the new order only at the surface, while the community hatred towards LGBT still breeds within. There is the only adsorption of the new order rather than absorption. The major factor contributing to this would be the fact that a conversation was never initiated around this issue which helped them overcome their personal bias which has been fostered and amplified over the years. After abolishing of Section 377 they simply had to accept the law laid down for them, which suddenly claimed homosexuality as normal and not an offense against any deity or the natural course of nature.

Homosexuality is still reduced to clandestine commerce in the eyes of a few who are under the delusion of grandeur on the discourse of heterosexuality ; identifying heterosexuality as the superior and ‘natural’ orientation while others are deemed to a marginal position.

Understanding and Deconstructing the Roots

On conducting an anonymous survey on the population sample to gather statistics on the percentage attribution to each factor that rendered homosexuality as a criminal or offensive act, the answers boiled down to perceived Biological limitations or Religious impediments.

So where does this bias comes from? What do people tell themselves to justify their prejudice against the LGBT? Let’s find out.

Heterosexuality has had a historical advantage since its foundations are based on a self-serving ecosystem, where the rigid roles in society validate the existing social structures over centuries. The term ‘Gay’  was believed to have derogatory and disdainful implications -as someone who shows feminine traits- which further highlight the hyper-masculinity embedded deep inside a patriarchial male -a casual scapegoating on the physically weaker sex is spotted.

It’s time we get some important facts straight – Homosexuality was removed from the DSM-4 in 1973 itself, while WHO cleared the status of homosexuality as a disease in 1990.

“Sex should be used only for reproductive purpose”, hedonism is reduced to a sin – these religious impediments are used as a weapon to morally suppress others by attacking their conscience. If the above statement was true, does that mean infertile men or women in their menopause are deemed useless? No.

One cause of the bias is the ‘lock and key’ theory- on the mechanism of human genitals- perceived limitations of human anatomy. Deconstruction of the prevailing idea that stimulation during intercourse works only externally in males  and while only internal (G-spot) in females through penetration. The prostate gland in the male has nerves attached to it which directly stimulate the genitals and the orgasmic response is parallel to that of a G-spot. Whereas women can be externally stimulated by the clitoris and don’t necessarily need vaginal penetration to achieve an orgasm.Wonders of the human body in its complexity are endless and an individual should have the liberty and gumption to explore it.

Is There Any Hope At All?

The process of social change is always a tumultuous one but yes there is hope. We need progressive leadership both at an internal and external level. There is a need to think outside the box and develop an inclusive perspective that enables us to deploy a culture of subversive repetitions in conventional ideologies till a greater positive impact is created which challenges the social hierarchy.

To build a self-sustaining, holistic and symbiotic society we need to ingrain social responsibility and awareness at the very grassroot level. A person’s sexual preference is his/her own choice. A person can’t live in the cocoon forever, let the metamorphosis happen.

Falguni is currently pursuing an MA in English Literature from Lady Shri Ram College for Women. Apart from the daily grind, she takes photo walks to old cities and historic places to capture fragments of narratives for her photoblog.

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