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Celebrating the LGBTQ+ community

This is something unique, something you may not have heard before. Yes, it is something special that deserves a celebration. Celebration or in another form is also known as Honouring. But the speciality behind June is that it is the PRIDE month. It is People Respecting Individual Diversity and Equality. So by this, it is clear that the context refers to LGBTQIA. In India, we celebrate PRIDE. In the course of my research, I got to know that there were rallies and parades for the celebrations of the LGBTQ+ community, specifically in Delhi and Mumbai there were rallies in November and February.

After the declaration by the Hon'ble Supreme Court regarding Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (1860), homosexuality has been officially accepted in Indian societies, and from this, there were changes taking place in various sections of the society in favour of this aspect. Though this section talks about the unnatural offence, it signifies that any voluntary intercourse between two persons along with consent is not an offence irrespective of gender.

Besides homosexuality as a whole agenda, it's better to understand it from its root cause which includes gays, lesbians, bisexuals, pansexuals, asexual, demisexual, intersex, and transgender starting from their biological difference as compared to men and women. And Q stands for questioning, representing those people who are uncertain of their sexual orientation and gender identities whereas A stands for an ally.

This all started in June 1969 in Greenwich Village New York. The Stonewall Riots served to launch the LGBTQ rights movement in America. New York City is considered the birthplace of the gay rights movement. It has happened that there was a gay bar, named The Stonewall Inn, where gay, lesbian, and other transgender people used to socialize to prevent themselves from public discrimination.

One day during the morning hours, nine policemen visited the place and arrested the sellers on the grounds of selling liquor without a license. They were authorized to arrest those who were not wearing gender-appropriate clothing, and they did the same. As this law was nothing new to the public so nobody revolted. This act of the police was not new, the people got agitated and threw bottles at the policemen, and from there it all started. This event took days to settle down but marked its impact. After this, the other organizations favoured this incident and it became a global cause.

Significance of the Pride month

Pride month is about love, acceptance, and being proud of who you are. This is more than rainbow flags and a colourful parade. It is about recognizing and remembering the struggles that LGBTQ folks have faced throughout history. And through celebrations is the way to provide support and encouragement to these people who are in desperate need of support and acceptance. Even the impact of these celebrations will make a benchmark for the concept of gender equality and equity.

Unlike us, they will get a proper environment of acceptance and will be prevented from narrow minds, judgemental thinking, and discrimination. One celebration of the present moment will create a benchmark for all the future generations and even our older generations would get the opportunities to learn new things out of the box, which was being deprived at their time. Not only does this aspect hold a great quality but economically, it also gives a sense of acceptance, awareness, and especially to these LGBTQ individuals to explore more of them, share their views, and get connected with the other communities.

The mental impact to both the communities- pride and non-pride.

Considering something major, that the suicidal cases are common, committed by the people of the LGBTQ+ community. In the present scenario, the lockdown has witnessed a lot of similar cases like this. Examining the current situation many LGBT foundations have reported that during this lockdown period they have received numerous calls about suicide, more than ever before.

They have also mentioned that it was very difficult for those where their families provide the least support for their being and often suffer from humiliation from their family members and society. Remarkably by living in the present society, initiatives should be taken to change this. One should not have insecurity from one's own family, about one's reality. No one should be answerable about one's sexuality to society. This could be a time when these people can consider themselves as no victims but proper citizens. In this regard, they get the opportunity to set their own rules, enjoy the freedom of our democratic nation, and face no more rejections due to their sexuality.

The sense of insecurity and taboo would fade day by day, and even this could be possible that one day they can also be our support at hard times. Why this context is treated as taboo where the first Indian study on homosexuality was published by Shakuntala Devi in 1978 when along with it we do have our Indian mythology in support of homosexuality.

Even in Mahabharata Arjuna was cursed by Urvashi that he will spend a year of his life as a eunuch, Brihannala; which would be the thirteenth year of the Pandavas exile. And this was nothing disclosed and Arjuna never was treated as taboo. Even in the stories of Ramayana, there was a King Dilip who had two wives, and he died without an heir. Lord Shiva appeared in the dreams of the widowed queens and told them to make love with each other so they could have a child.

This order has been followed and the queens gave birth to a child who became the famous King Bhagirath, popularly known as the one who has brought River Ganga from heaven to earth. The walls of the Khajurao temple consist of sculptures of women making love in erotic poses. These are the pieces of shreds of evidence that witnessed the presence of homosexuality in ancient times.

So if this could have been the scenario of ancient India which was extremely prosperous at that time and in an acceptable manner. Considering this, what excuses do our generation and the previous generation have for not accepting these people? Making fun of some individual can be an amusement for a moment, but once consider yourself in the place of that person, and for an instance try to recollect all the bullies you have been carrying and how does that feel. The one-time amusement counters to all the bullies and also for no justified act. Is it fair?

The different ways of celebration

Celebrations not only mean rallies and parades but there are numerous ways to celebrate. Speaking about the workplace, yes it is an important environment where an individual seeks acceptance to perform to his best. Because it is the place where one spends mostly half of the day. The authorities of the organizations need to focus on this regard and take steps favouring this aspect.

For example:
IKEA took the step to raise a rainbow flag at all their stores across Canada, for the recognition and support of LGBTQ communities and people of all orientations and gender identities. Also similar to this a company can also sponsor programs where the employees can get engaged and learn about the issues.

Even the companies can hold seminars and workshops where they could include discussions about the policies they could have for this community, the motto is to make every individual aware of the PRIDE existence and to understand that these beings are no different from themselves.

Conclusion
As this agenda is kind of a different one, therefore the measures to be taken need to be unique and distinctive. Talking about celebrations, one often assumes that it needs a lot of people, loud music, some old rituals to follow, food and many more. But no, this time it could be different. One can celebrate on their own. Here, the initiatives of individuals are more important than the whole mass. Here change is brought by a single being and on the other, the mass follows it.

One step towards acceptance will bring effect on the whole concept. One proper understanding of an individual will increase the understanding of many more individuals. Therefore proper education clears the path of acceptance, clearing the blurred thoughts and understanding with logical reasoning and empathetic approach will break the stereotype thinking and the Hippocratic minds and the change will be perceptible.

Education is one of the persistent ways to get to the roots of this cause, but here it sometimes becomes monotonous, so also one can opt for the movies and get the realistic scenarios that people face, also attend the online seminars, a campaign which are the interesting approaches to learn about the existing issues.

Here one can get indulged in the conversation with these people and only this initiative would be something one requires the most. Listening to somebody provides mental support which can bring a huge change. So here the ways of celebrations are the most unique and hence what we need to do is to spread awareness of this and get indulged in the activities taking place related to this agenda in June. Living in the present moment and feeling the aura of the PRIDE festivity.

References:
  • https://www.loc.gov/lgbt-pride-month/about/
  • https://ok2bme.ca/resources/kids-teens/what-does-lgbtq-mean/

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