“Like everyone, I have dreams. I dream of having a husband and children, of bringing our children up together and having the same happy family that I was a part of as a child. I dream of a life that most straight people take for granted. I came back to this country with hope – homosexuality was legal, and it looked like progress was being made towards civil unions and equal rights. Now, I know even a life of basic dignity is out of reach.”
“And all this, remember, before the infamous Supreme Court judgement in December 2013. At the time I was dating a boy who was slowly coming to terms with his sexual orientation. I remember him coming to my house and hugging me and crying. He said, “All this while the one thing that had kept me going was that my country told me I’m okay. If the law doesn’t have a problem with it, it has to be correct, right? Now what am I to do? Now even the country tells me it is wrong.” What could I tell him? I felt the same way. I felt that my country had let me down.
The anecdotes could go on and on – friends being beaten up for being gay, being arrested and spending a night in jail just for attending a gay party, committing suicide out of depression.”
If someone like me, who is so privileged that his family always accepted him for what he is, who has first class degrees from the best universities in India and abroad, who has made enough money to insulate himself from the hate and bigotry, if someone like ME cannot live a life of dignity in this society, then what about those who aren’t as privileged as me? What about the next generation of young gay children growing up in a homophobic country, constantly being told that there is something wrong with them? What about those young gay men who are tortured and forced into marriage by their families? As a country, do we not want to provide all our citizens a life of dignity?
Saatvik is a Bollywood actor who sent out a powerful message to India’s gay community by coming out publicly and inspiring others to do the same and fight homophobia.