Gay Equality In India

Nov 27 2012 @ 8:00am

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Marta Franco checks in on the pace of progress:

[A]fter more than a century of being spurned by their families, reviled in public and harassed by police, India’s gays and their supporters say [2009's] 377 ruling [decriminalizing homosexuality] is encouraging a gradual emergence from the shadows. "They’re not so open with their families yet, but they feel relatively more free now," said Anand Grover, lawyer and director of the Lawyers Collective HIV/AIDS Unit. While the situation remains difficult for many homosexuals, particularly in rural areas, Grover points to the new gay tourism market, the spread of queer parties at nightclubs, and the rising divorce rate among gay men who had previously been pressured to marry women.

And a cultural shift is gradually underway:

Gay-themed businesses are opening in areas where they once would not have dared to flaunt their sexuality. In 2011, the soap opera Maryada: Lekin Kab Tak? (Honor: But at What Cost?) became the first TV serial to feature an openly gay character. Gay protesters have jettisoned the masks they used to protect their identities during equal-rights marches. Talk shows feature questions about homosexuality and venues host events explicitly marketed for gays and lesbians.

Previous coverage on the emergence of gay publishing here.

(Photo: Members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community and supporters attend the 5th Delhi Queer Pride parade in New Delhi on November 25, 2012. Marching in solidarity and in celebration of their diversity, the LGBT community demanded equal legal, social and medical rights. By Sajjad Hussain/AFP/Getty Images)