In a recent viral photoshoot of a Hindu-Muslim same-sex couple, Anjali Chakra and Sundas Malik from the USA received huge praises and heartwarming gestures on the Internet. Sundas Malik, a Muslim artist from Pakistan and Anjali Chakra, a Hindu originally from India released photos on Twitter recently. In fact, Sundas posted additional photos on Instagram too.
Let’s look at the life of a lesbian couple in India:
Lack Of Family Support
LGBT(lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) youth in India experiences a lot of suicide attempts or thoughts. A recent study by researchers at Northwestern University Institute concluded that those who lack family support show adverse mental health effects. These effects include the increased risk for suicide, depression, and the use of illicit substances. In India, many are yet to come in terms of the fact that the Supreme Court of India decriminalized homosexuality by declaring Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code unconstitutional. Naturally, Indian lesbian couples are finding it difficult to disclose their relationship in front of their families. In a society where major decisions of life like education, career, and marriage are dictated by certain rigid social and cultural norms, the lack of family support will always be a big blow to a girl.
India is a country where 79.8% of people practice Hinduism, 14.2% follow Islam, 2.3% stick to Christianity & 1.7% adheres to Sikhism. In Hinduism, there are two different sets of Hindu religious texts: (i) Sruti and (ii) Smriti consisting of Manu Smriti and Yagnavalkya Smriti. None of these teachings advocate harsh punishments for homosexuals apart from ManuSmriti. In fact, India has centuries of wedding rights for lesbians and gays. Although Islam in India is not a radical one, still many communities staged protest against the Supreme Court Order. A quora user wrote, “It feels scary to live in a place which has more than 330 million gods and yet I can count on neither one of them for their blessings.”
Sensitivity To Matter & Awareness In Society
The attitude of Indian society has been hurtful towards the LGBT community in India. Post the supreme court order, things have drastically improved but the community is still living in fears. In fact, lesbian women and transmen in rural areas end up at the lowest extremity of the hierarchy when it comes to basic human rights. Even in urban areas, suicides by women make it to the headlines every year. Although crime shows like Crime Patrol and Savdhaan India have created awareness in the society regarding gay marriages. Still, we are living far off from greater society.
Inferior To Gay Male
A woman’s sexuality is never discussed in India making it challenging for them to come out. In a society dominated by males where sexual violence, child marriage, and female infanticide are common, lesbian rights lie at the bottom of the hierarchy. In rural India, ‘corrective’ rape is very prevalent. These are often carried out by husbands, brothers, and fathers in a bid to ‘cure’ women. This is one of the main reasons why women don’t come out in front of the family.
Still Lurking In Shadows?
Many women are hiding and pretending to be someone else. But some have taken up the challenge to make life better for others:
1. Menaka Guruswamy and Arundhati Katju
When the Supreme Court of India announced the landmark order on September 6, 2018, it was not only a professional win but a personal win for the lawyers. The lawyers Menaka Guruswamy & Arundhati Katju were one of the five original petitioners in court who lost the case in 2013.
2. Suchandra Das and Sreemoyee Mukherjee
The duo met in April 2012 and immediately decided to get married. For these two, the cultural and social norms of society meant very little when it came to love and marriage. They had a beautiful Hindu wedding with a blend of Bengali rituals on December 2015. The duo enjoyed great support from their friends.
3. Manjit Kaur And Seerat
The Kapurthala couple got married on April 2017. It was a typical Punjabi wedding with the traditional bride and groom attires, family rituals and groom riding on a horse to the wedding ceremony. Manjit, a respected police officer took a leap of faith conscious of Section 377. Also, the Supreme court order brought huge relief to the couple and their families.
Others Are Also Reading:
- How To Talk To Your Parents About Relationship.
- 9 Signs That Your Relationship Will Last Forever.
- Why Friends With Benefits Is A Total Flop In India?
And Many More.
Every day, there are many women coming out and celebrating their identity. In fact, the success stories of these couples are inspiring the next generation.