- Nikeeta Singh
Love is Love
As soon as we arrive on this Earth, we are taught about what is wrong and what is right. We are made to believe that if a girl likes a boy it is cute but if the same girl likes another girl it is referred to as a shame on the family.
We are taught if a teenager tells any grown up that they are attracted to a certain gender which is not normalized by society, it is labelled a phase and their opinions are invalidated. When teenagers affirm again and again that it is not a phase, they are told that they will not be accepted as they are violating society’s but more importantly even nature’s rules.
Its rather an ignominy that people are more comfortable seeing two men holding guns than holding hands. Today we live in a world where the saying "Love is Love" is becoming more universal than ever. Hence, it is vital to remember that whether you love someone of the opposite sex, someone of the same sex, or both, you are valued and loved.
With events such as Transgender Awareness Week, International day against homophobia and the iconic Gay Pride parade that happens every year, people who identify themselves as LGBTQ+ can express pride in being themselves in these safe spaces. However, in this same world of our things such homophobia, bigotry and heteronormativity prevails.
The sheer reality is that the word homophobia is misleading. It tends to portray an image of a phobia and is used erroneously. It is no longer a veracious way of describing how society and several individuals prejudice against the LGBTQ+ community. Alternatively, it should be referred to as “social stigma”; a way to refer to society’s dismissiveness and rejection of non-heterosexual individuals. Moreover, homophobia is a concept based solely on the idea of condemning the relationship between two people because you don't feel the same way.
Due to such social stigma, out of the world’s sexual minority population — an estimated 83 percent of those who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual — keep their orientation hidden from all or most of the people in their lives. I cannot say that I understand homophobia all too well but what I do know is that no one should feel victimized, hurt or mistreated.
No LGBTQ+ individual should feel the need to vindicate themselves or come out to everyone because of the fact that they are attracted to a certain gender. Moreover, questioning your identity is an experience that lots of people have many times throughout their life. Identity is intricated and if you aren’t sure how you identify yourself, that is ok! It is not a compulsion to have everything figured out right at that moment.
Taking some time to think through how you feel can be helpful in better understanding your gender identity. We have a whole right to choose who we want to be and how we express ourselves. No one should feel forced to choose a gender and always stick to it but that doesn’t imply that choosing a certain gender is just a phase. For instance, on the surface, the fact that 84 percent of bisexuals eventually wind up in opposite-sex partnerships could appear to support the notion that bisexuality is, as people so often insist, actually either “just a phase” or a stepping-stone on the path to “full-blown gayness.” This is not correct.
Another factor that many individuals face is the process of coming out. Coming out to yourself or someone else is an incredibly personal decision. Just because you love your family and share everything with them doesn’t mean you are obligated to let them know, it depends on you and only you. Many a times people realize their true identity when they old and maybe even married and they come out way later in life. That is completely okay even if it takes you a while to get there. Your identity is valid.
If society cannot accept the LGBTQ+ community that doesn’t mean that they don’t exist. They exist and they are valuable.
At the same time it does not mean that they are a means for rainbow capitalism. Rainbow capitalism is the incorporation of the LGBT movement and sexual diversity to capitalism and the market economy,. In simple terms it translates to how companies profit from the LGBTQ+ community without actually caring about them.
Since Pride Month just ended we may have seen many companies change their logos into rainbow colored ones as a "token of support". Ironically this token of support is nothing but literally just a token and it does not help in the change all.
LGBTQ+ individuals are not tokens. Coming from an Indian Household, it was hard for me to imagine India as a country that supports the LGBTQ+ community. However, great figures such as Menaka Guruswamy, Harish Iyer,Laxmi Narayan Tripathi, Keshav Suri brought change to our country. They proved that we can accept the LGBTQ+ community, and how we can to do better, after all "The beauty of standing up for our rights is that others will see us standing and stand up as well." Quote by Cassandra Duffy.