Bhopal: National Coming Out Day, which is observed on October 11 every year, is an annual LGBT awareness day. It is observed to raise awareness towards the problems of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgender (LGBT). The exercise is aimed to bring the community in mainstream society.
In Bhopal, LGBT community faces the same problem as its members face them anywhere in the world. The fear of social boycott, discrimination, honour killings and getting disowned by family continue to haunt them.
Free Press talked to certain members of LGBT community in Bhopal to know their actual problems. Vilas Sakhare (name changed), a gay, said the society including members of their family do not accept their sexuality and their choices easily. “For society, we are objects of pun and humour. They think we have psychological problems and ask us to visit psychiatrists,” Sakhare said and added that people do not understand that it is not psychological problem but it is our natural behaviour. “Most people get attracted to opposite sex, we are attracted to a person of our gender,” he added.
Vaishali Jain (name changed), a member of the lesbian community, said it becomes difficult for the family to accept that their child is a gay, lesbian or a transgender.
Narrating her experience, she said her family was not able to understand it initially and kept fearing what will society think of her. “They presurrised me to get married and start a family. They also asked me to make as many boyfriends as I can and start hanging out with them so that I give up the thought of being a lesbian,” Vaishali told Free Press. She said society thinks homosexuality is a crime and treat LGBT as shameful beings. Devi, a transgender, said people taunt and make fun of her community. “Whenever we go to the hospitals to get treatment or to police station to file a complaint, officials do not talk to us properly,” Devi said and revealed that if a child is born a transgender, he is either abandoned or given in orphanage.
LGBT rights activists say it is time society ends bias towards them. They said changes should be made in Section 377 of IPC. “Ours should be an inclusive society where everyone including LGBTs are treated as normal beings,” a gay rights activist said wishing anonymity.