The LGBTQ Population in India
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of India? For us, it’s the number of people they have. In fact, India is second on the list of countries with the most people in the world. Now, it’s only natural to assume that not all of those people are heterosexual. So, let’s talk about the LGBTQ population of India.
The first thing you should know is that 17% of the entire Indian population claims they’re not heterosexual. That means they fall anywhere on the LGBTQ+ spectrum, and 17% is a lot. What’s common for all homosexuals is that they aren’t often open about their sexuality with other people. That comes from the fear of being judged or outcast from society. However, the situation is a bit different in India. LGBTQ in India have their own rights and are widely accepted and supported.
India’s LGBTQ Throughout History
One of the less common facts about LGBTQ in India is that they used to have a rocky past. That doesn’t necessarily mean anything bad, but they did have a lot of ups and downs.
First things first, the majority of people in India identify with and accept Hinduism. However, Hinduism doesn’t have many negative things to say about homosexuality. In fact, sex, in general, was always a touchy subject for Indians. There are certain rules they have to abide by. Otherwise, they receive punishment.
But would you believe us if we told you that homosexual activities often received less severe punishments than heterosexual ones? It does sound quite unbelievable, but punishments included bathing in one’s clothes, for example.
So, even though LGBTQ people would receive punishments for some of their actions, society has been accepting of them since the dawn of time in India.
Issues That LGBTQ Face in India
The fact that the LGBTQ people of India receive so much support is wonderful. It’s definitely something we wish to see other countries do, too. But unfortunately, it’s not all rainbows. There’s still backlash, even with so much support. For example, even though these people have rights and support, they still can’t marry each other. Yes, they can love each other, but making it official? Nah, at least not yet.
Besides marriage being illegal, there’s another thing LGBTQ couples have to deal with — no children. Well, at least they cannot adopt a child. Whether they can have children via IVF or a surrogate is debatable at best.
Even though India as a whole is a progressive country, exceptions still exist. Not only that, but every individual and their family is different. So, while one homosexual has their family’s support, their next-door LGBTQ neighbor might not.
LGBTQ Movement: What Is It?
However, the LGBTQ people of India didn’t always have the rights they have today. Homosexualism was a crime under the British Empire, and it remained so for a very long time.
In 1949, all Indians became equal. Well, all but homosexuals. Even though some sections state that all Indians have equal rights, section 377 of the Indian Penal Code still stated that homosexuality is unnatural and, therefore, a crime.
The LGBTQ community let this slide for a long time before the very first protest in 1992. You can consider this to be the beginning of the LGBTQ movement. Only 7 years later, in 1999, India had their very first Pride Parade with only 15 attendees. However, these 15 people were the beginning of something great.
Pride Month in India
Pride Month is happening at the same time everywhere in the world, that is, in June. During this time, countries and cities organize LGBTQ Pride Parades where they celebrate love and equality they deserve. Some countries and people frown upon these events, but what’s the situation in India? Well, their parades are a bit different.
Some Indian parades require participants to wear colorful masks to hide their identities. However, this is only optional, although it is a great way for people who aren’t out of the closet yet to participate in LGBTQ events. On the other hand, some events require participants to dress professionally and avoid wearing anything too colorful.
But how do other Indians see these parades? Well, they’re parades! Colorful marches involving music and great people that invite you to walk with them in support of their basic human rights. Indians that witness these parades don’t seem to mind.
The Idea of Same-Sex Union in India
As we know by now, same-sex marriage isn’t legal in India — yet. People predict that will change in 2022, but it’s all up to the ruling of the Delhi High Court. But let’s talk about the idea of the same-sex union and do Indians accept it.
Same-sex unions grant LGBTQ couples similar rights to same-sex marriage, except they can’t have children or the title of a married couple. When you think about it, the gay people of India already have a lot of rights that are similar to those of same-sex unions.
Reading that, it might seem safe to say that the country supports queer folks. However, none of that is official, so the LGBTQ people of India should always be cautious when making any decisions.
The worst thing that can happen is thinking your country supports you and finding out you’re wrong. That’s why the LGBTQ people should wait for the Delhi High Court’s official ruling, and then there can be weddings galore.