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Media’s Portrayal Of The Trans Community Has Often Misguided Society’s Mindset About Them

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As we all know, Section 377 has been amended by the Supreme Court of India. It is considered to be the first step towards a ‘free’ society. This judgement is regarded as the independence day for the LGBTQ+ community. But, is it really independence day for the community as a whole or just LGB?

Let us probe further into these questions.

History

The history of Section 377 goes back to the British India period when it was introduced in 1861. The Section 377 states, “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 for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.”

Role Of Judiciary

The judiciary has played a significant role in decriminalising Section 377. However, there have been several ups and downs before the final judgement was given. Let us have a look at the timeline of the judgement:

Year Description
2001 An NGO “Naz Foundation” first raised the issue of section 377 and “AIDS Bedhbhav Virodh Andholan” in Delhi High Court
2009

 

Delhi High court decriminalised sex between consenting adults from the same gender
2013 2009 Judgement overturned by Supreme Court and rejected review plea
2014 NALSA vs Union India (Granted personhood to transgender)
2017 Right to privacy as a fundamental right
2018 Judgement passed to decriminalise section 377

 

Please take note of the judgement given in 2014 which granted personhood status to the members of the transgender community. This was considered as the base for the LGB community to propose their case actively.

Role Of Media

Media has played an essential role in shaping society’s mindset about the trans community. But, there are positives and negatives to how the media has portrayed the LGBT community. The international media started several TV shows (such as Glee) to influence people and create awareness about the LGBT community. Similarly, the first substantial effort to work towards decriminalisation – surprisingly came into the limelight after Deepa Mehta’s “Fire in 1998, that portrayed the relationship between two women in a rural setting. Later on, as there were not many talks in the early 2000s on digital media, a separate digital magazine was launched named as “Pink” to provide a platform for the community.

However, there was one thing common – if the overall performance of media is considered. This was the low representation of the transgender community and more focus on the LGB community. And this is even visible amongst all of us as individuals and as a society. We still do not feel comfortable and ignore transgender community as compared to the LGB community. And one of the reasons for this is the media which has played a vital role in shaping our minds.

To conclude, we all need to ask one question to ourselves, has the media become our new generation’s leader for shaping our opinion and views?

You must be to comment.
  1. Anirban Dutta

    I really liked your article and the article showed social acceptance of the transgender community in India,then why the citizens still frowns and stigmatizes the community ? I really expect your answer to my question.

  2. Abhishek Pandey

    Thank you for your comment.

    We all know this very well that we consider transgender as a separate group of people and believe them to come from some unknown place. Transgenders are considered to have no or poor family background, they are stuck in the vicious cycle of poverty and observe low status in the society. Moreover, they are considered someone who can harm us and we try to avoid them. But this is not the truth and I personally feel they should get equal acceptance as LGB in the society.

    Hope it answers your question.
    Thank you

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Find out more about her campaign here.

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