LGBTQ community still fights for equal rights, acceptance: Survey
Almost a year after the Supreme Court (SC) decriminalised section 377, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) individuals said the biggest issue they face today is that of securing equal rights and social acceptance.
According to a survey conducted by YouGov, wherein around 1,005 people were interviewed, the responses for LGBTQI-related queries were collected from around 300 people from across the country who identified as homosexual, bisexual, queer and transgender.
Of those who responded, 48% said that social acceptance was a challenge in north India, while 33% said that south India faces a similar problem.
Speaking about the results, Deepa Bhatia, general manager, YouGov India, said that according to their study, members of the community had noticed changes in the perception of people after the SC verdict.
“As per the data collected by us, two in five [39%] LGBTQ+ Indians admitted to noticing visible changes in attitudes and perceptions towards the community post decriminalisation of section 377 last year,” said Bhatia.
Apart from equal rights, the survey also spoke about social violence and stigma, employment and housing discrimination, no freedom to love, marry and raise a child, and sex-change surgery, among others.
“Marriage and adoption is one of the challenges faced by the community, with 31% agreeing, but the need for equal rights [in all areas] and social acceptance definitely exists,” Bhatia added.
Another challenge was housing discrimination, which included not being able to rent houses or live together with your partner. Around 36% in north India mentioned it as an issue, as compared to 14% in west India.
“The problem is, in places where hierarchy is given importance and one is expected to follow a particular cultural protocol, it becomes difficult to come out,” said Harish Iyer, LGBTQI activist.