Scrapping Section 377 was a monumental step towards the acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community in our country, showing that we’re still in the decolonisation process over 70 years after independence. I see a lot of you expressing your happiness on this decision of the Supreme Court on social media, but are all of us who claim to be LGBTQ+ allies, allies in a true sense?
For queer people to live safe, happy lives of existence, there still need to be serious changes in the way society perceives the community. In this time when hundreds of queer teens are still kicked out by their parents even in the USA, one of the countries offering the most extensive set of rights to the LGBTQ+ communities in the world, it’s not enough to just claim to support the community. You need to take some form of action as an ally. Here’s a set of ways through which you can help:
1.) Educate yourselves on the different sexual orientations and gender identities. Remember, no one is responsible for educating you but yourself. However, if someone helps you out in this, be willing to listen.
2.) Never use offensive slurs against the LGBTQ+ in your speech, whether you mean anything negative from it or not. For a closeted queer person, that would make you seem dangerous to come out to.
3.) We all need to start normalising gender-neutral pronouns, though it might seem strange especially in our country. Introducing yourself like, “I’m [y/n] and I use she/her pronouns” even if you’re cisgender because that shows that you’re open to, and will respect, the person’s identity and chosen pronouns.
4.) Do not belittle a queer person’s struggle with their identity and social acceptance. It’s terrifying for a person and you need to do the best you can to make them as safe and comfortable as possible.
5.) Remember your words matter. Do your best to educate your families, your friends, the people around you. Correct people if they say anything offensive, stand up for what you believe in. Ignorance is one of the main reasons for homophobia and transphobia in society today and we need to do our best to eradicate all misconceptions for a truly safe society for the LGBTQ+.
6.) If a closeted person comes out to you, do not out them in any case. In a conversation don’t say “Oh but I thought you were gay/bi/trans etc.” because that way you’ll unintentionally out them. Remember if they aren’t open to some people it may be because it might not be safe for them to come out to them. Respect their decision and never try to rush them into coming out, let them wait till they’re ready.
All of us might not be able to attend pride parades or join protest marches to show our support towards the LGBTQ+ community, but we can definitely do little things and make a difference around us.
~Tanvee Walia, DPS Noida
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