By Dr Jyotsna Suri
My journey as an LGBT+ ally is deeply personal.
Fifteen years ago, my son Keshav came out to me. I took close to twenty-four hours to absorb the revelation and, thereafter, accepted Keshav for who he is.
When the Hon’ble Supreme Court read down Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, the landscape for the LGBT+ community changed for the better. The onus is now on the people of India to change their mindset. They need to break the stereotypical image of the community that they have in their minds, accept them socially and mainstream them— professionally and economically.
While legal protections are important, much more is needed for the LGBT+ community members to live with dignity and without discrimination. This is particularly important for young people who experience estrangement from their family and friends, making them most vulnerable. Their harassment at school often leads to them dropping out of school and with mental health issues. The community also suffers from socio-economic inequalities due to discrimination at the workplace.
Legislative failure to protect the LGBT+ community denies them their basic fundamental right to a better and safe environment.
Being an ally for the community means recognition, respect and equality for its members.
I urge you all to accept, empower and mainstream the LGBT+ community.
Be an ally!
Excerpt from the book EQUALLY: Stories by Friends of the Queer World. Published by Rupa, the first of its kind anthology put together by Pride Circle is due to be released on 9 April 2021. Find more about the book here.