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What Does the State Have to Do With Me Making Love With Another Man?

I strongly and staunchly support Narendra Modi in his campaigns of Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao. I would just like to add Beti Ko Saksham Banao, Uski Sexuality Ko Apnaao.

Harish Iyer | CNN-News18

Updated:February 14, 2018, 4:51 PM IST
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What Does the State Have to Do With Me Making Love With Another Man?
I strongly and staunchly support Narendra Modi in his campaigns of Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao. I would just like to add Beti Ko Saksham Banao, Uski Sexuality Ko Apnaao.
I love the way I love the people I love, I seek no permission from anyone to love. It is absolutely legal and absolutely sacred. The issues comes only with making love. However, what does the state have to do with me making love with another man?

They should be concerned about consent. They should be concerned about the legal age of my partner. But what else should ever matter? However, section 377 hangs on our heads like a peeping tom. Section 377 criminalises ‘sex against the order of nature’. The biggest question here is — what is the law of nature? And what’s open for interpretation is interpreted in the most evil ways.

We chose to criminalise love making that is not penovaginal. So acts such as oral sex and anal sex become illegal. Mind you, loving has not been ever illegal in this country. I jokingly say sometimes that “I can be a proud homosexual but not a practising homosexual”. We can love, with all our might, but we can only make love in the way the law prescribes.

For some, love and sex don’t go hand in hand. For some, sex is not the ultimate goal of the relationship, or even an important component. However, it is presumed that men cannot live without sex. And someone who is gay will just be sex obsessed. In a nation where people don’t speak about sex, we imagine everyone’s doing it — all the time. When it is about a queer person, our imagination runs wilder than mangroves.

The problem is not really with their imagination, it is with the law. LGBT lives are vulnerable under the eyes of the evil law of section 377. When love goes in hiding, extortionists come out of the closet. And let me assure you that there are many predatory extortionists in our midst, who prey on queer minds. They reach out to you at your home and at your private spaces to threaten you of dire consequences unless you cough up some cash or valuables.

The law of section 377 is used as the pretext for perpetuating these fears. Many of these lives are lost to suicide, some live lives in the constant fear of being outed to their friends and family that they presume would be hostile to the reality of their sexuality. That’s what happens when you bar love in its full expression.

But that’s not all. Like in war, in this war for acceptance, the most affected are women and children. Children who grapple with their sexuality are forced to tide on the way of heterosexuality and cisgenderism. You are expected to love only the other populous gender. You are also expected to stick to the gender roles that your sex dictates. Anyone who does otherwise is shamed, sometimes killed, and some kill themselves.

We need to understand the damage-- hate or non-acceptance of non-binary love that it does to young impressionable minds. Now imagine, the state of women. It is not unusual that women have no say in the person they marry, even if it is with a man. But if she happens to be lesbian or bisexual, the worries get compounded. She is doomed for a life of misery. Her life would be a series of sexual relationships that she doesn’t like, with a man, she doesn’t love or even feel affinity towards. It is again not unusual that women undergo something known as “corrective rape” which is basically someone raping woman to “teach them about heterosexuality” and therefore, ‘correct’ their sexual orientation.

I strongly and staunchly support Narendra Modi in his campaigns of Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao. I would just like to add Beti Ko Saksham Banao, Uski Sexuality Ko Apnaao.

And why just beti, it is the betas who also get forced to marry women by a homo-ignorant, heteronormative society. I am not condoning what men do, but highlighting what a flawed law and society do.

It is time that secularism and plurality doesn’t become exclusionary towards queer persons. It is time that love and law marry each other and breed the progeny of acceptance.

On that note – Happy Valentine’s Day.

The author is an LGBT rights activist. Views are personal.

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