By: Tanya Kulkarni
Picture courtesy: Shreya Kapoor

Every fairytale, every movie, every novel, every poem seems to talk about love. As kids, we are taught the concept of love, forming and maintaining bonds and relationships with various people in our life. Loving our parents, our families, our friends, our girlfriends and boyfriends, our neighbors, our pets, our teachers, sometimes even strangers. Love in all ways, shapes and forms. As a young girl, the word ‘love’ would immediately create this image in my head of a charming prince coming on a white horse. But what about the other young girls who have a different image in their head when they hear the word ‘love’? What about the boys out there who want to introduce their parents to their boyfriend and not girlfriend? 

We cannot choose and justify who we love and why we love them because of the world’s opinion. Every individual should be given equal respect and rights no matter what their gender and preference is. The LGBT community should be given as much respect as any other community in India is given. We cannot discriminate against them because of their preference. They are as human and as capable of love as any other Indian, and any other person. They have been gaining acceptance in other countries and it’s time Indians also progress to reach that stage.

Why is it that, as a country, we are more comfortable with two men holding guns than hands? Every member of the queer community has been through adversity and turmoil growing up in environments against them. There is no more bullying them into silence, and as people living in the same country, we need to learn to celebrate this. We need to be the support that they may or may not need, and as allies, help their voices be a little louder against everything that is drowning them out. Because it isn’t just about an arbitrary, distant ‘them’ anymore — it is about all of us, as the people we are, the environment we create, and the compassion we possess. 

Love in all its forms is beautiful and true, not wrong and unnatural. If Harry Potter taught us anything, it’s that no one should live in the closet. Every individual should be able to say, unabashedly, “I am in love” and that’s all that matters, no questions, no fears, no rules. 

Gay pride was not born of a need to celebrate being gay, but the right to exist without persecution. So instead of wondering why there isn’t a straight pride movement, ask yourself — is your free and whole existence violating laws? If the answer is no, you don’t need one.

“You don’t have to change a thing, the world can change its heart”

Alessia Cara, ‘Scars To Your Beautiful’

To read our Pride Month piece, click here