Posted by Abhinanda Dash
July 3, 2017

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Approximately 74 countries have declared LGBT relationships to be illegal, India being one of them.

While this figure does show that a majority of the countries have opted to make sexuality a matter of personal choice (precisely 121 countries ), 74 countries is quite a huge number of people who have condemned individuals to live a closeted life being unable to express themselves openly. It makes one wonder that there must be a missing link between sexuality and it’acceptance in the world.

There are more and more individuals who are “coming out” openly and it is estimated that approximately 3.5% of the world does not conform to heterosexuality. If this seems like a small figure then just imagine that the entire population of USA only contributes to 4.4% of the world population. Even though homosexuality is widely portrayed in media and has become a prominent part of Indian pop culture, it still remains to be a taboo.  When browsing through news channels it is common to find debates on section 377 ( the law which criminalises gay sex)  and it was through these debates it became clear that the missing link to LGBT acceptance was actually science. Red-faced pundits and spiritual heads would scream about how it was against “Indian culture”. When pressed further, they would declare that it was against the natural order of us homo sapiens as it was natural only for a woman and man to be MARRIED and then lead to the propagation of the human species. It was astounding to find panellists, who had just two days ago renounced ‘science’ and it’s findings as baseless on a separate issue turning towards it again and calling it “the most logical and natural explanation”.

But then when one thinks about it, besides the rank hypocrisy showcased, they were unfortunately right. Science declared that any and every feature of us homo sapiens must serve some evolutionary purpose. It reduced something as romantic and mystical as love, bonding between families and the tendency for humans to be monogamous to simply be an effective strategy to bring up weak, unprotected offspring. However, science remains to be largely silent on the topic of homosexuality. The few research papers published have vaguely characterised homosexuality to be a product of “complex genetic factors as well as the child’s psycho-social environment.” the research papers further started to go off into ‘chromosomal synapses” and other fancy words which makes one conclude that a conclusive theory is yet to surface. Also, the pre-existing studies have been criticised to be biased and have methodological errors. Even though science may be crude and unromantic, but it is the only language which is based on objectivity and verification.

Until a proper theory emerges to explain LGBT relationships, it will never be accepted by the public. Several philosophers-cum-scientists in the ancient times went hoarse proclaiming the world to be round instead of flat. But it was only in 1522 when Ferdinand Magellan, a Portuguese explorer whose route circumnavigated the globe that people actually believed the theory. Obviously research is challenged by  funding and an appropriate sampling size. More people need to stop shouting,and start working instead. Considering India,change can only come about when homosexuality enters the textbooks in school,and education drives away the taboos associated with sexuality and orientation.

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