'No more a criminal,' LGBT community erupts with cheer over Section 377 verdict

‘WE ARE NOT CRIMINALS ANY MORE’

The LGBTQ community celebrates the SC verdict in the Capital on Thursday.

The LGBTQ community celebrates the SC verdict in the Capital on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: Vivek Tripathi

Rain fails to dampen spirit of LGBTQ community members who broke into spontaneous celebrations

A loud shriek pierced through the prevailing silence in the lawn outside the Supreme Court as the verdict on Section 377 of the IPC was delivered.

The cheer was from a college student who had just read a tweet from inside the courtroom. Spontaneous celebrations followed that involved tears, relief and joy.

Among those involved in the jubilations was Smriti, a college student who had bunked college to soak in the atmosphere outside the Supreme Court as the verdict was being delivered.

“When I came here in the morning with my friends, we did not realise there would be so much media attention and we were scared that our parents would see us,” she said as the cameras focused on her soon after the verdict.

“This may not be the ideal way to come out to my parents but yes, we are not criminals any more... we are who we are,” said Smriti, adding that the war was not won yet, it was only a battle.

‘An ideal family’

Another college student from Ambedkar University Delhi, Ambuj, who had apprised his parents of his sexual orientation, said, “Teenagers now will not be afraid to come out and talk about their feelings because of the legal backing. It will only create more awareness and the society will soon have to accept that the picture of an ideal family does not have to have a mother and a father.”

Holding back tears, Bismaiya Kumar said it was important for society to be educated and know that homosexuality was not a disease. “We as a community must work towards reaching that goal.”

“The next step for me is that I am looking forward to the day when we are given the right to enter into a civil partnership,” added Bismaiya.

Legal acceptance

Sukhmani, another college student, said that although the LGBTQ community now has legal acceptance, the community will have to work for social acceptance. “We are very happy to receive the same rights as everyone else in this country. Now, with the support of the IPC and the Constitution, we will be able to live without being branded as criminals,” she said. The celebrations continued throughout the day across the city and culminated in a celebration at Jantar Mantar in the evening.

Heavy rain could not dampen the celebrations as the people danced in celebration, brightening up the dark, rain-soaked streets with the colours of the rainbow flag.

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2020 12:09:52 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/we-are-not-criminals-any-more/article24886878.ece

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