Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Deja Vu? Writing on the Wall?

This is an excerpt from Rohinton Mistry's, "A Fine Balance". What struck me was the chilling resemblance between Indira's Emergency days and now.

A conversation between Maneck and a taxi driver.








Friday, July 8, 2016

HOW WE UNCONSCIOUSLY SUPPORT HOMOPHOBIA

We've all heard the term, 'homophobia.' Most of us think to ourselves, 'That's not me. Didn't I drape my profile picture on facebook in rainbow colours to support them? Do I ever abuse them orally or physically? And don't I support their rights?' 

In India, the majority do have a, 'live and let live' attitude. Most of us support the homosexual community, but there are more ways than outright abuse to harm our minority LGBT+ community. The major culprit is ignorance. And perhaps, indifference. We are heterosexual, and homosexuality doesn't really concern us. 

Today, I would like to show how homosexuality does concern all of us.

If someone says, "It is unnatural,' what is our reaction? Do we feel angry but lack the courage to defend the LGBT+ community? Or do we feel forced to concede it is so? If it is the latter, it is because we are ignorant. It is because many of us, inside our hearts believe it is unnatural. But more than that, it is because we haven't bothered to find out for ourselves and say with conviction it isn't. We've kept away. There is only so much support we are capable of giving.

After reading the plethora of information available online - information from reliable sources, we come to know that about 7% of the population is born homosexual. They are not capable of entering into a physical relationship with people of the opposite sex. And humans aren't the only ones. It happens throughout the animal kingdom.

Even if we knew the fact, there's Bollywood and the way they portray the LGBT+ community that holds us back from giving our unstinting support. Here's one article on the subject  

So, how do we know we have these unconscious biases? Here's a challenge. Next time you see a pride march, observe your reaction. Do you walk past or drive past in a hurry? Do you hurry your kids past? Or do you pause to watch? Perhaps smile at their enjoyment? That should give you an indication. 

There's a lot we could do to overcome our biases.  

  • join Indian LGBT+ sites 
  • get to know individuals as individuals and not only by their sexual orientation
  • follow Godrej’s example for inclusive policies and policies of gay rights at the office
  • wave or even walk part of the way during gay parades
  • comment on videos or articles on the LGBT+ community… 
If you have more suggestions please do let me know either through the comments section or via email and I'll include them in the post. Please remember, unnecessarily rude comments will be deleted.

Here’s a beautiful series I watched recently - All About Article 377 . Don’t get fooled by the title. It is mostly about fun, young individuals living in Mumbai - some gay and some not. An interesting plot and the acting is superb.  

Final thought. Why should we work on our unconscious bias? 

Half baked or dhachu-pachu support for any cause falls into the hands of  the violent, in this case,  homophobic individuals who believe they can mentally or physically abuse homosexuals and get away with it. 

The violent have only one thing on their minds - violence - and they disguise their desire for violence in various ways.

Or, how could I forget,  Cruelty to Animals

The way to fight homophobia is to be informed and have the courage of our convictions. If we are scared to face the violent, and know in our hearts that we must anyway, or hand over our country and the future into their hands, here's a post on how best to organise. There is safety in numbers and the suggestion in this post is guaranteed to surprise.


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Saturday, April 16, 2016

Two Lesbian Women and I

A True Story. (No Sexual Content)

 In the old days I knew two women, both young, and in their early twenties. Let’s just call them A and A.

When I first came to know about their being lesbian, I was shocked. I took it upon myself to try and talk them out of it. Feeling virtuous, I thought I would speak to them face to face. No back-biting from this girl!

I knocked on A's door and was invited in. The other A was there. The rumours must be true, I thought. Being of a delicate disposition I asked them bluntly if they were a couple. Their faces went white. They didn't know what to say.