So your dog died last night. Your boss caught you taking a nap at work. Then you heard it on the news that a sexist, xenophobic orange rice puff has become the leader of the free world. To try to make things better, you go to the movies but get beaten up by some proud patriots for not standing up for the national anthem.
But once you get home, the one you love takes you in their arms. The pain vanishes and the suffering goes away. Now imagine not being allowed that either. Not being allowed love. Has to be the worst thing, right?
For millions of homosexuals across the country, it is this very right we take for granted that is frowned upon, hated and snatched away, leaving them to seek out love in fearful secrecy. This is what the lives of millions of homosexuals look like or rather, what the country’s law and society would have it look like.
Homosexuals are expected to suffer for the crime of having loved someone they shouldn’t. Had it only been their love for someone from the opposite sex, the “normal” choice, their lives would be made immortal as enchanting stories of unrequited love. But not in the world we live in. Here they are branded unnatural, an anomaly, a threat, an abomination.
I don’t relate to the 45% respondents in the HT-MaRS Youth Survey 2016 who said they don’t approve of homosexuality. Another 28% said they can’t say where they stand on this issue. Let’s take is as a “no”.
What exactly is it that makes India’s young object to homosexuality? Is it the fear they may corrupt others with their “ungodly” ways? Is it the belief that getting married or even just having sex is the right of only heterosexual couples? Or is it simply the fear of the unknown?
It is perhaps all of these, but only the last one allows any room for change and debate. Homophobia and a lot of problems that people have with other people usually stem from ignorance.
We can ward off so much hatred from this world only if each one of us realised this: They too are people, just like me. They have a family, some hope, some failures, someone they love and someone who loves them back, and a complex life. Like you, they too deserve to be happy and live the way they want to. And if it is not hurting you or anyone else, just let them be.
Soumya Srivastava is an entertainment journalist with Hindustan Times. When she is not beating stress with adult colouring books, she loves to binge on Netflix or take pictures of nice things.
Read more stories from HT MaRS Youth Survey here.