What is the dating scene like for the Queer Community in India?
The generation of today is always in a turmoil when it comes to stating opinions about the country we are living in- "India", and about the people we are surrounded with. While, the family structures are very warm and they are involved in our daily growth and life choices, this can also backfire into something too terrible or disheartening. It was only two years ago, on 6th September 2018, section 377 was abolished. Not much changed since then as the society at large doesn't accept same-sex relationships. People are still not driven towards conversations and the Queer (LGBT+) Community is often misunderstood. We can observe an obvious fragmentation of the community at large. There is a division within the community too which makes it harder for some of the suppressed voices to speak up.
While we talk about how the community was recognised by the law just two years ago, you can imagine what the dating scene already looks like as of now. However, the dating scene is gradually coming onto the surface because discourse is a psychological phenomenon and the psychology is working more than ever on social media. I have mentioned in my previous article as well that if you are not educated enough or informed enough to understand what your gender identity is or what your sexual orientation is, we often tend to mix the two and we feel that it is a disease or something abnormal as our society has construed us to think in that manner. People are coming onto the surface about themselves and about dating their partners as well because they are "aware" that there is nothing wrong with identifying with being Queer and in addition to this they might have some amount of support from either their "family" or their "peer group". Either way, this provides a psychological support for the other peer(s) who might be identifying themselves as Queer and it carries out an optimistic chain reaction.
How did Online Dating Help?
Online Dating holds a huge significance when it comes to dating while identifying as queer. Online dating is almost edging onto something quite revolutionary that has further uplifted so many people from the LGBT Community to come out of their closets. The revolutionary aspect of it was taken up by Ritviz in his recent team up with Tinder in the launching of a music video that sent out an extremely important message on the acceptance of the community through dating. The music video portrays that not all revolution has to be negative or has to cause some kind of a disruption, the revolutionary aspect of this video is actually quite beautiful and touching. Around 2012, when Tinder had newly launched itself, there were two binary options "male" or "female" while logging in. There were many people who identified as non-binary but since they did not really have much of a choice, they went with any one of the binaries. The same was the case with Transgenders. There are so many who misunderstand a Transgender identity to be some sort of a sexual orientation or some(thing) that is completely alien. Laverne Cox hosted a beautiful documentary called "Disclosure" which talks about how the Transgenders are viewed in a societal structure. It also talks about the "clumsy media representation" of the transgenders. The dating life for the Transgenders is definitely very difficult. Four out of five transgenders face some kind of assault or derogatory slurs. More than 30% of the transgender youth are rape victims.
Same Sex Marriage in India:
A petition has been filed to the Delhi High Court and we are finally looking at a more developed and a mutually inclusive nation. The demand is that if two people of the same sex can be in a relationship then why is it that they cannot legally marry? It is quite a fair demand and interestingly enough, the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955 that was used against the LGBT activists when the movement had just gained momentum in India, doesn't mention anywhere that a man is "supposed" to marry a woman or vice versa. As I had mentioned in my previous article- procreation has been politicised. The society is anxious of the fact that the gene pool will stop altogether. In my personal opinion, it is quite untrue that many feel that this is a "trend" and hence many want to "change" themselves into being gay, a lesbian etc. Anything that strays away (even in the slightest) from the conditioning of what the definition of "normal" is by a human being causes a sudden anxiousness, which if not dealt with, can lead to extreme consequences. I will close this article by saying that we have some inspiring figures who have dated and got married. We have Sufi Sun and Anjali Chakra. Anjali Chakra is an Indian and Sufi Sun is a Pakistani which caused a dynamic intersectional discourse within many communities. We have Amit Shah and Aditya Madiraju. The two of them decided to get married publicly in a temple in New York City. Both the couples went extremely viral on social media and it is a beautiful revolution as it powers a different group of individuals to come out of the closet and stand up for their identity.