Transformation, Emancipation

On July 2nd, 2009, the Delhi High Court ruled that the law outlawing homosexual acts was discriminatory and a “violation of fundamental rights.” The ruling overturns a 148-year-old colonial law, which describes a same-sex relationship as an “unnatural offence.” The recent ruling decriminalising homosexuality in India, being touted as India’s Stonewall, is generating debate and controversy. This ruling comes at a time when there is much unrest and agitation around the notorious Proposition 81 and other lesser-known rulings around hate crimes and non-discrimination acts and marriage rights.

A piece of legislation insofar as it remains encoded in legality is not of much use. Granted, it provides recourse to law and aims to safeguard rights and protect from vulnerability those whose rights have been dispossessed. In this case, homosexuals and transgendered peoples, who have been Other-ed by the draconian laws written into existence by bigotry and privileged intolerance. Securing human rights, however, remains a process. New rulings and laws must be accompanied by social campaigns that must explain and create acceptance and understanding around new unprecedented pieces of legislation. The judicial framework even remains inaccessible to many. How can this ruling be extended beyond red tape bureaucracy and provide a real solution to the queers and non-straight-identifying people of India?

At the same time, credit must be given where it’s due. The fact that the Delhi High Court was able to overturn this ruling is proof of a vibrant and clamorous lobby for queer rights. It is of course an indicator of the change in the Indian society and state, towards granting rights and protections to queers. While it is clear that LGBTQ organizations and activists have been advocating rights for homosexuals for a long time, the State must now build upon those efforts through the legal framework (initiated on July 2nd) to make this change more palatable.

Essentially, the new queer movement seeks to broker alliances across all kinds of social binaries, of gender, sexuality, class, race, ability and create a wide range of opposition to counter the status quo. It needs to and has broken away from old patterns in which there no alliances between gay men and lesbians. The idea of ‘queer’ as imagined by radical activism and organising challenges to heterosexism, though a movement built by the collective experiences of all those who have been Other-ed and their allies. This battle is being waged to deconstruct the existing power dynamics by challenging the heteronormative ideology to be able to garner meaningful change.

Despite the collective and coalitionist nature of this movement, ‘India’s Stonewall’ seems to be set in celebrating and protecting only gay men. Where are the voices of the lesbians and the transgenders? Where indeed are the queers? There has been a lot of publicity around gay men and gay activists and organisations that support homosexual men, and indeed a lot of anger too; however, men have dominated the discourse. In conservative patriarchal societies it is difficult to be a gay man. Coming out requires a great deal of courage, a lot of patience and indeed a lot of love. As Che Guevara famously said, “a true revolutionary is guided by great feelings of love.” To be queer is tantamount to heralding a revolution. Yet, female-identified, female-bodied and transgendered people have all been sidelined and excluded from this revolution. Gay men are socially ostracised, stigmatised, attacked and murdered at worst; tolerated at best; and in some few cases, accepted.

It is however, lesbians and female-bodied people who do not identify as straight that cannot be tolerated. Male privilege must not be forgotten when it comes to the oppression of heterosexism upon those who exist on its margins. Is it is easier to be a man and to be gay than to be a woman and to be gay? Governed by mores where it is socially inconvenient and a social liability to be a single woman, it is at times unthinkable to be a woman loving or living with another woman in a society that has grown old and rigid in enforcing different standards of acceptable and appropriate behaviour for men and women. However, is it even judicious to be asking such reductive questions?  I was made to re-think the need for this question through an email conversation with a friend who pointed out the “unique violence and threatening nature about the inherent machismo quality within societies that makes coming out as gay for men particularly affronting.” We need to measure the different impact of heterosexist norms upon queer male bodies as opposed to queer female bodies, however to create yet another hierarchy would be conceding the battle. It has been argued that privilege can be manipulated in a radical way to use that space and visibility to the movement’s advantage. I have my own concerns about this as this strategy can oftentimes fail in its methods and instead reinforce the existing system by pandering to its hierarchies instead of deconstructing them. However, insofar as this can be empowering and empathetic, it should remain a part of organizing and activism.

In conservative patriarchal societies, it is often noted that it is not just homosexuality that is closeted; heterosexuality also needs to come out into the open. It is clear that this is as much an issue of social emancipation and raising social consciousness, as legal rulings. It is an issue that must not abandon or isolate the lesbians or the trans communities in favour of those who are male-bodied and male-identified and indeed male-privileged. This is a movement for all of us, queer or straight, male or female, cis or trans, gender conforming or genderqueer, to come together and challenge the existing paradigm.

998 Replies to “Transformation, Emancipation”

  1. Hmm is anyone else encountering problems with the pictures on this blog loading? I’m trying to figure out if its a problem on my end or if it’s the blog. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  2. Does your website have a contact page? I’m having trouble locating it but, I’d like to send you an email. I’ve got some recommendations for your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great website and I look forward to seeing it develop over time.

  3. I have been browsing on-line more than 3 hours today, but I by no means found any fascinating article like yours. It’s lovely price enough for me. In my view, if all web owners and bloggers made good content material as you probably did, the internet might be much more helpful than ever before.

  4. This piece of writing is genuinely a nice one it helps new netpeople, who are wishing in favor of blogging.Here is my blog post … adult acne treatment

  5. An intriguing discussion is worth comment. There’s no doubt that that you ought to write more about this subject matter, it might not be a taboo matter but typically people don’t talk about such subjects. To the next! Many thanks!!

  6. Good day! This post could not be written any better! Reading through this post reminds me of my old room mate! He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this post to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thanks for sharing!

  7. I blog quite often and I genuinely thank you for your content. The article has truly peaked my interest. I will bookmark your blog and keep checking for new information about once per week. I opted in for your Feed too.

  8. It certainly is practically not possible to find well-informed parties on this matter, however, you seem like you understand what you’re writing on! Excellent

  9. I blog frequently and I truly thank you for your information. The article has truly peaked my interest. I will bookmark your blog and keep checking for new information about once a week. I opted in for your Feed too.

  10. I’ll immediately seize your rss as I can not in finding your e-mail subscription link or newsletter service. Do you’ve any? Please allow me recognize so that I may just subscribe. Thanks.

  11. Howdy! Do you know if they make any plugins to protect against hackers?I’m kinda paranoid about losing everything I’ve worked hard on.Any tips?Here is my blog post MosqiStop Reviews

  12. Usually I don’t read article on blogs, but I wish to say that thiswrite-up very pressured me to take a look at and do it! Your writing style has been amazed me.Thank you, quite nice article.

  13. I always used to read article in news papers but now as I am a user of internet thus from
    now I am using net for articles or reviews, thanks to web.

  14. Hello there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after checking through someof the post I realized it’s new to me. Nonetheless, I’m definitely glad I foundit and I’ll be bookmarking and checking back frequently!

  15. I’m not sure where you’re getting your information, but good topic.I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more.Thanks for magnificent information I was looking for thisinfo for my mission.

  16. When someone writes an piece of writing he/she keeps the image of a user in his/her brain that how a user can understand it.Thus that’s why this article is outstdanding. Thanks!

  17. Hi there, just became aware of your blog through Google, and found that it’s really informative. I am going to watch out for brussels. I’ll appreciate if you continue this in future. Many people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

  18. Pingback: bahis siteleri
  19. I want to make a withdrawal jazette three card poker If you have previously registered on, and have a current online subscription you may login with your email and password

  20. Aw, this was an exceptionally nice post. Spending some time and actual effort to make a very good articleÖ but what can I sayÖ I hesitate a lot and never manage to get anything done.

  21. What’s up, all is going well here and ofcourse every one is sharing facts, that’struly good, keep up writing.Here is my blog – Insta Frost Air Conditioner Review

  22. Hello i am kavin, its my first occasion to commenting anyplace, when i read this paragraph i thought i could also make comment due tothis brilliant piece of writing.

  23. I blog frequently and I truly thank you for your content. This article has really peaked my interest. I am going to take a note of your blog and keep checking for new information about once a week. I subscribed to your Feed too.

  24. I blog often and I truly appreciate your content. This great article has truly peaked my interest. I’m going to take a note of your blog and keep checking for new information about once per week. I subscribed to your RSS feed as well.

  25. What’s Taking place i’m new to this, I stumbled upon this I have discovered It absolutely useful and it has helpedme out loads. I’m hoping to give a contribution & aid different customers like its helped me.Great job.Review my blog –

  26. Its such as you read my thoughts! You appear to know
    so much about this, like you wrote the ebook in it or something.

    I believe that you just could do with some % to force the message home a bit, however other than that,
    that is excellent blog. A fantastic read. I will definitely be

  27. An intriguing discussion is worth comment. There’s no doubt that that you need to write more about this subject, it may not be a taboo subject but generally folks don’t talk about these issues. To the next! Many thanks!!

  28. I’d like to withdraw $100, please harga metformin tablet Abe must decide by year-end whether to implement a planned hike in the sales tax to 10 percent from October 2015

  29. The only exact precise guide had been the particular starry night, and even more importantly the particular Southern Mix, a small yet quite special and just recognizable constellation.

  30. A fascinating discussion is worth comment. I do believe that you ought to write more on this issue, it may not be a taboo subject but generally people don’t talk about such issues. To the next! Cheers!!

  31. [url=]amoxicillin without a doctor’s prescription[/url] how to get prescription drugs without doctor