Today, homosexuality and queer identities may be acceptable to more Indian youths than ever before, but within the boundaries of family, home and school, acceptance of their sexuality and freedom to openly express their gender identities still remains a constant struggle for the LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and others) community.
While we, as the youth of the country, are more accepting of homosexuality and identifying ourselves with our own preferred gender, those belonging to generations before us still have certain set ideologies which are yet to be changed.
A few days back, while going out with my friends, one of my close friends belonging to the queer community, requested to stay at my house for some time as we waited for our cars. Usually this might not have been something to think about, but at that moment I felt myself wondering whether the people, especially those in my extended family, currently living in my house, would ever be able to accept my friendship without it spreading as a piece of gossip?
This got me wondering; why do we as the supporters and allies of the community, fail to make others around us be more understanding of the community? Why are we not able to make the society understand that being queer is not a choice, but an identity? Why do we, in the 21st century, still gossip or talk in hushed voices about someone who has identified themselves as queer?
Thus, while the legalization of the LGBTQ+ community is certainly a step towards acceptance, we still have a long way to go. While we, as the younger generations have accepted the identities of the community, it is our job to help those older than us realize and accept all genders and all identities equally.