Section 377 of Indian Penal Code – which came into force over 150 years ago – says: Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal shall be punished with imprisonment for life or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to 10 years, and shall also be liable to fine. In other words, homosexuals can’t breathe free in the world’s largest democracy.
Last month, the Indian government cleared a bill to ban commercial surrogacy aimed at barring foreigners, people of Indian origin, couples with kids, live-in partners, single parents and homosexuals from having children through the rent-a-womb service. Announcing the decision, India’s Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj told reporters: “We do not recognize homosexual or live-in relationships, that is why they are not allowed to commission babies through surrogacy. It is against our ethos.”
So what is it like to be a homosexual in India? Since the law of the land terms homosexuals as criminals, they are forced to remain in the closet. It is difficult to gauge the pain gays, lesbians and bisexuals endure whether they stay in closet or dare to come out. Recently, Anamika Pareek, “a proud lesbian,” wrote on Quora:
“The reason we have to hide and pretend all the time is that society will hate us. The only reason we live in depression most of the times and have suicidal thoughts is that we can’t tell anyone and not everyone is courageous to come out and face the trouble… The other day my girlfriend wanted to kiss me. I told her to wait for like years till we start living together because if anyone sees us, we will be in jail. Though I consoled her, but here “living together” looks like a distant dream when my parents are worried about getting me married (obviously with a boy).“
It’s a free world.
Maitreyi surrendered to the beat of her feet against the rocks that littered her path.The delicious rush of wind skimmed past her face as she ran around the forest trying to catch Alpana.
Suddenly during the game, Maitreyi collapsed to the ground Squirming with anguish, she sat on the damp grass, clutching her feet. A nasty thorn had penetrated her leg and she was in great pain.
Maitreyi’s thumb caressed Alpana’s earlobe softly, her fingers supporting the back of her head as she leant in firmly, yet seductively, placing her lips over Alpana’s nose. “It’s not your fault…” whispered Maitreyi.
It was a new day and the glimmer of hope strengthened with every passing minute.
Maitreyi and Alpana’s joyful laughter echoed through the forest. But somewhere in the distances, they heard something moving.
The Rakshasas (monsters in Hindu mythology) of the forest had heard Maitreyi and Alpana’s laughter.
Maitreyi clutched Alpana’s hand tightly as the doors closed on them.
By Vandita via AnonHQ
This article (Photographer Tells Tragic Indian Lesbian Story Through 30 Heartbreaking Photos) is a free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author and AnonHQ.com.
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