In one of the LGBT protests, an Indian said, “pyar hua ikraar hua, queer hua to kya hua“ J
Twenty five years ago, far away in Washington D.C., ‘The Great March’ happened. It was a political rally with demands including legalization of homosexuality and an end to sexist oppression. With about half million people on the streets, this rally turned out to be massive. ‘For love and for life’ is a very well appreciated documentary that takes one through the passion and the emotions experienced while dramatically narrating the events of the national march. This was a huge step up the ladder, largely because of the power the event showed in response to the homophobic mind-set pervading in the world and to many episodes of discrimination and exclusion. This was the second such march, a sequel to the first one in 1979 that wasn’t as big.
The outcome of ‘The Great March’ was that it laid a carpet for the years ahead. It set a platform for people to come out in the open and to struggle to be let free. Since then, there have been many such acts of remonstrance. Several countries have decriminalized or have at least considered decriminalization of homosexuality. For twenty five years, which is a quarter of a century, this might not seem colossal. But taking into consideration that in those days, homosexuality was believed to be an aberration and nothing short of an act of debauchery, it is quite a BIG deal.
Today being gay is still not entirely accepted. Half the world and perhaps more is against it. And out of the minority that’s not against it, the majority gets uncomfortable when having to face it in real life. But homosexuality is no more a taboo. The 25 years have brought it from an unspeakable, horrifying matter to a debatable issue if not an acceptable one. For that, we know we have half a million people to thank.
In memory of the march in 1987, today is internationally known as the National Coming Out day. Ironic, I know.
Today is the day for one to understand, accept, get comfortable with one’s sexuality and come out with it, proudly. Today is the day for all of us to accept each other irrespective of sexual orientation. Today, we will stand up for anyone who is embarrassed or hesitant or afraid to come out. Today, we will cease to discriminate. Today, we will love; we will respect. Today it’s time to let go of fear, for it’s time to come out. It’s National Coming out day – the 11th of October.
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