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Young and gay, but not in India

india Updated: Oct 18, 2011 13:09 IST
Shara Ashraf

Life’s taking a happy and gay turn for those belonging to the sexual minorities in many countries with growing social support. According to Dr. Guy Shilo of Israel’s Tel Aviv University, people are coming out of the closet at a young age. But the scene in India remains grim, despite decriminalisation of Article 377 of IPC in July 2009.

“Barring a handful of elites, being gay or transgender in India means facing social ostracism and disgrace. The percentage of those coming out is miniscule and they are certainly not young people. A large number of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) pretend to be straight. Those who come out do so only when they are well settled,” says Shashank Sharma, a gay rights activist.

Amanpreet, a project head with LGBT community welfare NGO, says, “Where’s the question of coming out of the closet early when most Indian parents lack the basic understanding. My parents did their best to ‘change’ me. It was only after I started living separately that I came out of the closet boldly.”