Wisely, I had chosen to attend court the morning the judgement was read out. Clutching the hand of one of my closest activist friends, ‘Mrs Gupta’, to contain my anxiety as the moment of truth approached, we were both swept away by the enormity of the words we were hearing, the recognition that the personal was indeed the political and that our lives would never be the same.
Everyone is asking, “What now?” That, to me is quite obvious. We can return from exile. We are no longer the outcasts. Sure, there is a long road ahead to end discrimination, to ensure equal rights and the ability to exercise them are in place.
But we are coming home. In my case, as the son of migrating parents, I had left the city of my birth, Delhi, in my teens. But now I can introduce my same-sex lover to my city. With this ruling, we can still love and be loved within it.
That the fear and anxiety on both sides had been a misunderstanding based on ignorance and lies, and that somehow a somewhat abstract judgement in a court room had changed our lives forever. That now a discussion can begin on the true nature of sexual diversity within the family that will impact each and every one of us regardless of our sexual orientation.
(Sunil Gupta is a photographer. He returned to live in New Delhi, after a 35-year absence, as an openly gay man)