The Supreme Court decision that legalized homosexuality in India on Thursday, decriminalizing part of the 158-year-old colonial law under Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), had left the LGBTQ community of the city in tears of joy.
“The judgment is historic. We were so awash with happiness that we just broke into tears when we heard the news. The decision has given legitimacy to what we are,” expressed Rahul Naidu, a bisexual student from the city who is currently pursuing Liberal Arts in Singapore.
happiness was writ large on the faces of the LGBTQ community members as they welcomed the apex court decision, saying that it was their ‘much-awaited day’.
“Social privilege was a far-fetched reality for many of us. Now, I feel liberated because the age-old prejudice had always affected the LGBTQ community disproportionately, especially those from the economically poor and marginalized sections,” Mr. Naidu noted. The LGBTQ community here also dubbed the verdict as the much-needed self-correction of a judicial wrong committed to them. “The scrapping of Section 377 marks the beginning of a new era. I am very happy today and I feel proud,” said Sabi Giri, a former Indian Navy sailor, who was dismissed from the service for undergoing a sex reassignment surgery. She said that her ‘changed’ identity did not deem her unfit for serving the nation and hoped that the landmark judgment would finally give the community the recognition and dignity they always deserved.
Sanchari Biswas, a 28-year-old research scholar, expressed: “Finally, the day dawned for which I have been waiting for years. Like ‘normal’ people, now we can take a feeling of deep pleasure or satisfaction in our relationships without fear of being harassed or abused. The fear of being tagged as a criminal is gone now.” However, the members of the community felt that even as the law now had recognized them as equal citizens, a lot was to be done for this social prejudice to go. Now, more people will feel authorize to express themselves to their friends and families and be accepted by their loved ones,” Mr. Naidu expressed.