“Aadmi hoon aadmi se pyar karta hoon (I am a man who loves man).”
The Bollywood classic became an instant gay anthem when Diepiriye, an American in spaghetti straps who uses only one name, burst through a crowd celebrating Thursday’s Delhi High Court judgment decriminalising homosexual sex between consenting adults.
“ My friends and I instantly celebrated the moment. Now we can love each other without any fear and restriction,” said Diepiriye.
The joy was evident as scores of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders (LGBTs) hugged each other at Jantar Mantar to celebrate the court’s verdict.
Within hours of the court order, hundreds of LGBTs dressed in colourful and flashy clothes reached Jantar Mantar to celebrate perhaps the biggest victory for gay rights in India.
They were singing, dancing and hugging each other, overjoyed that now they can come out of the closet and choose partners of the same sex without the fear of being penalised.
“Our dark and bloody times are over. I am proud of my sexual orientation, and thankful to court for legalising consensual gay sex,” said gay activist Sumit Dutta, an executive with a private company.
Pramada Menon, one of the key activists spearheading the movement for legalising homosexuality, said, “The judgment is a relief for us.”
“We want the society to accept the diversity in sexual inclination. Everybody is equal and the law is there to protect our dignity.”
Several homosexuals were seen singing Awaaz do hum ek hain (shout out that we all are one) and Hum gay hain to kya hai, hum dilwale hain (So what if we are gay, we are people with heart).
The gay activists carried banners and placards that read: “Love is indiscriminate” and “Damn brutal Section 377. We all are equal.”
Those assembled at the venue also included some international gay activists. Nienhe, a homosexual activist from South Africa who uses only one name, said, “I have been working in India for past one year, and fighting for rights of homosexuals. I am happy that like in my country, the rights of homosexuals will be protected in India as well”.