Venus Xtravaganza, Evon Young, Nikki Kuhnhausen were strangled, abducted or left to decay in 1988, 2013 and 2019 respectively. The list of hate crime seems to be endless. It is a result of prejudice towards their gender. Our society has a tendency to show intolerance to everything it perceives as uncommon like homosexuality or transsexuality but everything that is uncommon cannot be unnatural. The American Psychiatric Association listed homosexuality in the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders” (DSM-I) in 1952. Our lack of knowledge has made us see this as a disability. It’s time we realise they are no different, we have differentiated them from us. One cannot be afraid of a morally and socially correct being because they have different sexual preferences.
The Stonewall Riots in 1969 brought together the LGBTQ+ Community. Beginning of a change in society is never brought without a clash of existing and new sets of norms. Within a year of them coming to forefront NGOs were formed to ascertain their rights. This was only possible because more people became inclusive, more people came forward to share the plight and fight against the atrocities. On June 28, Pride Parade takes place all around the globe to commemorate the uprising and more importantly to put end to the discrimination.The gay rights movement brought a ray of hope with it. It was a struggle against injustice. It was hopeful. What we missed in the dazzle was the rights of trans people who were not considered in this movement. They were focussed only on gay rights. A drawback. This resulted in a delay in blooming of trans movement as they have to begin everything from scratch. Transphobia has been held responsible for non-inclusive of transgenders in the fight for rights.
Undoing the wrongs of the past is neither easy nor quick to make. The fight here is not against a tangible enemy that can be defeated or for a piece of land that can be conquered but it is against a mentality which is deeply rooted in society’s book of normals. So, they need the 3Ps i,e, Patience, Perseverance and Persistence. Hence nations take years to bring such a reform. Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code introduced by the British Raj in 1861, which illegalises homosexual sex, was abolished in 2018.
We are witnessing the transition era. An era where at least the laws and rules are openly supporting what is unnatural for a lot of folks. Uttar Pradesh government recently announced a metro station which will be fully operated by LGBTQ+ community. This move was lauded and was all over the news. We still have a long way to go where such decisions seem to be a part of normal and not something like a PR Stunt for political gains. Subconsciously done insignificant actions create ripples. We are living in a society where identity words of trans people are used as slang. We often give in to them, enjoy it in several art forms without realizing the scale of repercussions they have. These small things like sexual slurs if avoided could bring a lot of change without taking a huge involvement. All it needs is awareness and a rational mind.
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