Four years after Section 377 was overturned, has anything changed for the LGBTQ community?


The Supreme Court (SC), on September 6, 2018, issued a historic judgment by repealing Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which criminalized same-sex relations and intercourse. “The right to love is a choice of an individual,” quoted the judgment by SC’s bench of five judges.

Former Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, Justices Fali Nariman, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra were part of the five-judge bench that repealed ICC Article 377, reported Hindustan time. The judgment came after years of struggle and unsuccessful attempts to have the right to equality and identity. This ruling has helped members of the LGBTQ community live lives of dignity and freedom.

Has India become inclusive?

The LGBTQ community believes that when it comes to equal opportunities, representation of gay people in the workplace, and laws to protect their rights, India still has a long way to go before it becomes fully inclusive. The SC ruling in 2018 recognized LGBTQ members and freed them into society from legal boundaries, but basic issues are still prevalent.

LGBTQ members celebrate four years of freedom, but they also reflect on how long Indian society has left. There have been a lot of positives in raising awareness and dealing with the LGBTQ community. People started wanting to know more about the community and their interests. Several workshops and initiatives are organized for the same purpose.

Yet members of the community feel that society does not have a responsibility to accept LGBTQ members as normal human beings. Kolkata trans men Abhijit Duha while chatting with The Logical Indiansaid, “We appreciate the efforts of people around us to spread awareness and positivity. Yet there is a fear of acceptance in society regarding LGBTQ members.”

Some LGBTQ members say they don’t live in mainstream society, as gender discrimination is still prevalent in the country. The risk of being sued for dating transgender identity is gone, but violence against transgender people is still visible in traffic lights and elsewhere.

India does not have access to basic facilities like public restrooms for transgender people, despite being a country that has recognized the LGBTQ community as the third gender. In many workplaces, members of the LGBTQ community are paid less than other employees, and some companies do not consider the community as a workforce. India has released LGBTQ members for the past four years, but the implementation of the law and the treatment of members as equal to others is still unclear.

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