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LGBTQ And their Independence

In this article we have talked about the struggle faced by LGBTQ community and with the time the rise of their independence they have faced many issues and still facing and many of them are scared to come forward knowing the society will not accept for what they are but with the time and rise of global connections in social media the society is now accepting this community and giving respect that they deserve in this article we have presented how the community is now getting independence from the stereotype society and now society is also making laws to preserve this independence of the community in this article we have summed up all the rights the community has got to preserve their independence.

The word independence is a synonym to freedom. Long ago, during the time of french revolution THE DECLARATIONS OF RIGHTS OF MAN AND CITIZENS during French Revolution opens in its maiden point as Men are born and remain free equal in rights but I am personally of a different opinion and I could hardly agree with reverential lok manya tilak when during my student life I came across the great slogan given by him freedom is my birth right and I shall have it.

My personal opinion is that each and every citizen of macrocosm is born to live free and naturally wants to entertain freedom . If an embargo is imposed on there freedom they are kept deprived from entertaining their right the their life to its full.

The living evidence in this regard is that even birds do not reproduce their young ones when they are kept in captivity Thus freedom or independence can be better explained as the way of life in which one is at liberty to live ones life as per his her choice within the compass of social and legal framework.When this social and legal framework indulges their lifestyle they feel deprived of their liberty.

Here we have chosen one of the most forgotten section of our society which is popularly known as LGBTQ community. In this article we are trying to grope into their aspirations, expectations and rights which they want to enjoy and entertain on the nme of liberty but unfortunately even after..... Years of independence their feelings have not been recognised in the manner in which they should have been.

Understanding LGBTQ
LGBTQ+ Community is a term which is the acronym for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer or questioning.

Let us briefly understand each term for better understanding of who they are:
Women who are attracted to other women are referred to as lesbians. A lesbian is a woman who is attracted to women of the same sex as herself.

A homosexual person, or someone who is attracted to the same sex as themselves, is referred to as gay. Although this phrase is most commonly associated with homosexual males, it may also refer to a homosexual woman or man.

People who are attracted to both male and female are referred to be bisexual. Or, to put it another way, it's a phrase for those who are attracted to both sexes or genders.

People whose gender identification is the polar opposite of their ascribed sex or who are not primarily masculine or feminine are referred to as transgender.

Queer is a catch-all phrase for anyone who isn't straight.

People who are unclear of their sexual identity and are still investigating are referred to as "questioning."

The terms lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) describe distinct groups within the gay culture. The early initiatives for people who were gay focused mostly on men. So, in an attempt to draw attention to issues specific to gay women, "lesbian" is often listed first.

People who are bisexual or transgender have been traditionally left out of, or underrepresented in, research studies and health initiatives. It is now considered standard to include these two groups along with gay men and lesbians.

Acceptance in society
This community even in today's India which boasts about being modern has not got proper recognition,No commoners are aware of the existence of it only a small section of society which has its domain in intellectuall walks is well acquainted to its existence.

In today's world, almost every person is know about the LGBTQ+ Community. In fact, many of the people seem to deny the fact that a community of other than straight people even exist!
Especially in a country like India, where there has been a recent change in the laws regarding the LGBTQ+ Community, it seems like a war between people rather than a step towards a better future. But we also have to see positive aspects of it. Without the first step, there cannot be a start of a journey. Even if that journey is filled with obstacles, we cannot give up just because there might be a negative response to it.

Because of who they love, how they appear, or who they are, people all around the globe are subjected to violence and discrimination, as well as torture and even execution. Sexual orientation and gender identity are important elements of our identities that should never be discriminated against or abused. Human Rights Watch advocates for the rights of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgender individuals.

The fact that many people argue that it is not natural when it is actually a part of nature and natural processes is in itself quite laughable. Anyone claiming that only a man and a woman can be attracted to each other and can have a family surely has not stepped out of their unreasonable mindset.

They don't want change and there is any change, they refuse to accept it. But they always forget the fact that once there was a time that the most brilliant minds of the world thought that the Earth is flat. Now we all know how that turned out.

In India, it was and still is very normal in a family that if a member belonged to a third-gender, they immediately said that you cannot do this or its just a phase as if any of these made any sense. They are forcefully married to their opposite gender and asked to act as a heterosexual person. Is that even possible? What if a straight person is forced to marry and live with a person of their same-sex? Will that person be able to act as a homosexual person? Of course not!

This whole thing is so absurd to think of but the saddest part is that it still happens. Even after all the laws made for them, it is still very much prevalent in India. One of the main reasons of this is Indian Laws itself, as in India, same-sex marriage is still prohibited. Even if a family wants to support a person of the LGBTQ+ community, they are not able to because there is no provision of marriage between the people of same sex.

India is a very cultural place where even relationships of straight people are not accepted and it seems unimaginable that an Indian family would accept their child having a homosexual relationship easily.

Is Homosexuality Unnatural?
Science is the field which can give proper answers to the people who don't accept the LGBTQ+ community. And, if they want to argue with the name of religion, then no religion has ever stated that only a He or a She has the right to pray. So, they themselves lose their unreasonable battle there.

This is not a hidden fact that the concept of homosexuality has always been seen as a taboo and a deviant behavior in the Indian Society. The Indian parents often tell their children to stay away from people who belong to the third gender as if they are not human and some kind of animal.

They have always been treated in the worst way possible. Although now the conditions and situations have changed, there was a time when they thought that it was a curse that they were born this way. This is the reason why many of the movements for the LGBTQ+ community involved feminists as well, because earlier being a girl was also considered as a curse in India.

Just like there have been extreme cases of killing of girl children, there were many cases where the parents themselves killed their child if they found out that their child belonged to the third-gender. In many cases, since it cannot be predicted from the childhood only, if the child themselves admitted to their family that they were homosexual, then either they were killed or abandoned. This continued to be the case and even still is.

This practice gave rise to a different kind of dark side of the society where these abandoned children were forced to do the lowest of works by some evils of the world such as begging and prostitution. They had no other option except for this because even the Law of their own Nation was nowhere protecting them. They were treated to the lowest and made fun of. This is not a topic that everyone likes to talk about since now they are gradually getting their Rights. But why this is important to talk about is because without knowing how much they have suffered; we can never know the importance of their Rights.

Marriages in LGBTQ
The Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code makes sex or marriage with persons of the same gender punishable by law. However, on September 6, 2018, the Supreme Court of India decriminalised Section 377 making gay sex legal.

According to the law, Section 377 of the Indian penal code states that a physical relationship between people of the same sex is considered an illegal and punishable offence. It has been in the law since 1864, made by the British Colonial rulers. Even after gaining independence, this law continued in the constitution but in modern times, many people started opposing this act as people think that it is a biased and unnecessary act.

According to medical science, it is normal to generate feelings for the same gender as it depends on the hormonal changes in the body. Many NGOs like Naz Foundation came forward to support the gay community and with the help of their dedication and continuous efforts, the ban was lifted and now the gay relationship is legal in India too. People came forward to support them and were very happy after the ban was uplifted. Since then we have witnessed many beautiful wedding ceremonies of gay couples.

Challenges faced by LGBTQ comunity at Workspace
A workplace should be cohesive and inclusive of all the sections. Any kind of discrimination at workplace affects directly the productivityof the employees which ultimately affect the economic perspectives of the organizations.

Most of the organizations, over the world has begun to adopt LGBT friendly policies and follow LGBT non-discriminatory policies. It is considered that having LGBT friendly environment at workplace brings new dimension to the workforce, for instance, diverse workforce, greater ideas and innovations, also it enhances the economic perspectives of the organizations.

In a survey in year 2013 it was found that college educated white collared LGBT workers accepted that they have always encountered variousforms of discrimination at workplace and in society. These results mark that such discrimination can have an adverse effect on the economic contribution of sexual minorities and it can also result in underemployment, lower productivity, lower job satisfaction amongst LGBT community which will drive them to the poverty thus more deteriorating their socio economic and mental conditions.

But many surveys report high rate of discrimination against LGBT employees. They are fired from job when the organisation comes to know about their sexual orientation, they are denied a job being gay, or if they are working, they are not promoted and often they are paid less than their co-workers.

In a survey it was found that amongst LGB around 44% of them were fired when their organisation came to know about their being homosexual, this ratio was comparatively high in case of transgenders, which was found to be 67%. Around 11% LGB and 3% Transgenders were denied the jobs and 46%of LGB and 30% of transgenders were not promoted at their work.

LGBTQ Proving Themselves
Joyita Mondal
Joyita Mondal is a social worker from West Bengal, India, and the first Bengali Transwoman judge in a civil court.

Mondal is a member of the transgender community who formerly worked for the group's welfare and growth. Mondal collaborated with others in 2015 to establish a home for HIV-positive older persons and organise patient care groups.

Mondal, 29, became the first transgender judge of a Lok Adalat in West Bengal, India, on July 8, 2017. She began her career as a judge of a Lok Adalat in Islampur, North Dinajpur, where some of her first cases concerned bank debt collection.

LGBTQ representation won big at the Tokyo Olympics.
According to the LGBTQ sports site Outsports, at least 182 out athletes competed in this year's Summer Games. The total number of LGBTQ athletes that competed in Tokyo was more than three times greater than in the 2016 ( count with 32 team and individual medals: 11 gold, 12 silver and nine bronze.

The number of publicly out LGBTQ athletes in Tokyo is also greater than the number athletes who have participated in all of the previous Olympic Games � Summer and Winter � combined while publicly out.

The massive increase in the number of out athletes reflects the growing acceptance of LGBTQ people in sports and society. The rise of social media, especially Instagram, has given athletes a forum where they can live their lives openly and identify directly with their followers.

In contrast, Outsports counted 23 publicly out Olympians in 2012 and 56 in 2016 at those Summer Games.

LGBTQ Rights in India
To preserve the independence of LGBTQ community
As the society accepting the people from LGBTQ community there are certain laws coming up also to protect the LGBTQ community they have been facing many difficulties in society and now its time for us people to accept those people and show them respect and help them to live with dignity in the society. In india also we can see all the changing mindset of people and now we are accepting LGBTQ as who they are and it is natural it is scientific there are certain rights that preserve the independence of LGBTQ community and these independence preserving rights and mentioned below

The idea of human rights rests on the central premise that all humans are equal. It follows that all humans have dignity and all humans should be treated as equal. Anything that undermines that dignity is a violation, for it violates the principle of equality and paves the way for discrimination.

The human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people (LGBTI) are coming into sharper focus around the world, with important advances in many countries in recent years, including the adoption of new legal protections. The preamble to the Indian Constitution mandates justice-social, economic, and political equality of status-for all. The right of equality before the law and equal protection under the law is guaranteed in Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution.

In April 2014, the Supreme Court of India ruled in NALSA vs Union of India that the rights and freedoms of transgender people in India were protected under the Constitution; in September 2018, the Supreme Court also decriminalized adult consensual same-sex relationships in the Section 377 judgment review.

These judgments are considered a landmark both in terms of their expansive reading of constitutional rights and in empowering LGBT persons. Both judgments mark an important moment for LGBT rights that not only reversed a relic of British imperial rule but also ordered that LGBT Indians be accorded all the protections of their constitution. This was a welcome victory, but it does not necessarily mean that LGBT people in India are fully free or perceived as equal among their fellow citizens. It underscores how much work remains to be done in India and the rest of the world to overturn antiquated and repressive anti-gay laws.

India is a vast and diverse country and attitudes towards this subject and experiences of LGBTI individuals vary vastly. The disparity between urban and rural India, language, caste, class, and gender add further complexities to understanding this topic more fully. But what we do know is that India's LGBT citizens are not a minuscule minority. They have a voice that is strong and refuses to be silent any longer in their efforts to reclaim equality.

So with the draconian Section 377 gone, what's the way forward? Today we celebrate the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. May 17 was specifically chosen to commemorate the World Health Organization's decision in 1990 to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder. This day has received official recognition from several states, international institutions as the European Parliament, and by countless local authorities. Most United Nations agencies also mark the occasion with specific events.

As someone who has worked in the UN system for the last 10 years, I also take this opportunity to thank my colleagues, friends, and stakeholders for standing with me and us. You lead in practice each day when you work alongside LGBT persons when you march in solidarity at Pride, when you take up inclusive LGBT initiatives and refuse to laugh at homophobic-transphobic jokes cracked in the canteen. You give everyone hope that the inclusive India we dream of for tomorrow already exists today.

The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019
The Indian Parliament passed the law in order to safeguard transgender people's rights, welfare, and other relevant problems. The Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, Thawar Chand Gehlot, introduced the act in the Lok Sabha, the lower house of Parliament, on July 19, 2019, in anticipation of the Transgender Persons Act's expiration.

(Protection of Rights) Bill, 2018 (Bill No. 210-C of 2016). A 2016 version predates both the 2019 act and the immediately prior 2018 measure. In India, transgender individuals, attorneys, and activists protested and criticised them. The 2016 bill was sent to a standing committee, which reported in July 2017. In December 2018, the Lok Sabha presented and passed a revised version of the bill.

Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019 was enacted with an objective to protect the rights of the Transgender Community by prohibiting discrimination against them with regards to employment, education. healthcare, access to government or private establishments.

But in the name of empowering the community, the bill further exposed them to institutional oppression and dehumanizes their body and identity. Some lacunas with the Bill are:
The bill takes away the right from transgender people to determine their sexual orientation. As per the bill, the change of gender identity in documents can only be done after proof of sex reassignment surgery which must be certified by the District Magistrate. This not only affects autonomy and privacy of transgender people, but also exposes them to harassment in the hands of authorities.

Punishment for Sexual abuse against Transgender is only two years imprisonment as per Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill of 2019 whereas, a similar kind of offence if, happened against women attracts a serious punishment under IPC extending up to 7 years imprisonment.

There are no provisions in relation to providing any scholarships, reservation or changing the school curriculum to make it LGBT+ inclusive or ensuring safe inclusive schools and workplaces for the trans community.

Suresh Kumar Koushal v. Naz Foundation, 2013
After eight years of a long battle, When the LGBTQ+ community was just letting out a sigh of relief, various Individuals and faith�based groups outrightly rejected the idea of decriminalizing homosexual relationships as held by Delhi High Court in Naz Foundation Govt. V. NCT Of Delhi, 2009, citing India's rich history bathed in ethics and tradition. They filed an appeal before the Supreme Court of India to reconsider the constitutionality of Section 377.

The division bench of Justice GS Singhvi and Justice SJ Mukhopadhaya in Hon'ble Supreme Court on 11th December 2013, overturned the judgment of the Delhi High Court and re�criminalized homosexuality. The bench held that LGBT+ persons constituted a minuscule minority and therefore did not deserve constitutional protection and further observed that Section 377 of IPC did not suffer from the vice of unconstitutionality and thus, is totally constitutional. Supreme Court vehemently ignored basic fundamental rights under Article 14, 15, 19 and 21, just because LGBT constituted miniscule minority. Thereby, bypassing the essence of the Constitution of India.

But the silver lining of this judgment was that, instead of putting a halt on the LGBT movement, it rather rekindled a new wave of activism in India. The Supreme Court's regressive judgement faced immense criticism from every nook and corner for erasing basic human rights of homosexuals. The result was that public conversation about LGBT rights witnessed an upsurge in India, which later turned into a massive movement.

There is not an iota of doubt regarding the fact that all the judgments related to LGBT People will shape the future of the LGBT rights movement in India. The significance of the NALSA judgement and Navtej Singh Johar judgement is not only limited to the recognition of third gender identity and decriminalization of homosexuality.

But these judgements are also progressive because apart from deciding upon the issue in hand, they have even laid down the basic groundwork to confer a host of other civil rights which were earlier not available to the LGBT community but are ordinarily enjoyed by the heterosexual persons and cisgender persons. These civil rights include the right to marriage, right to adoption, right to surrogacy, right against discrimination, freedom from sexual assault etc.

We have concluded in this article that LGBTQ community is getting independence with the passage of time and acceptance in the society and now society also have made certain rights for the community that preserve the independence of the community.

But, even after so many developments, LGBT People are still struggling to get the societal validation. A Supreme Court Judgment can merely pass a resolution, but it is the duty of the society to not discriminate against LGBT People and to make them feel inclusive. Merely allowing Sexual Acts between the same sex couple will not bring them at the equal peril as the other citizens as the future of same sex marriage, Legal Sanctity of adoption by same sex couple, right against oppression etc. are still uncertain and the community is still fighting for it. So, the battle is clearly not yet won, there is a long road ahead to make India an inclusive country in the true sense.

Written By: Divyansh Mimrot

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