Mumbai: Ankit Bhuptani (26) is elated with the Supreme Court judgement decriminalising homosexuality on Thursday among the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community. Bhuptani feels that the historic judgement is a step forward in the inclusion of LGBTs in the society since ‘Love is not crime’ Bhuptani who is the Founder and Chairperson of the Gay and Lesbian Vaishnava Association, “We are very happy with the historical judgment.
Our struggles have finally come to an end after almost two decades. The judgment given by the bench has made it clear that it is constitutional and not based on what are the beliefs of the citizens in the country. The fundamental rights of equality and the right to dignity for LGBT have been restored today. Even in countries like the United States of America and the United Kingdom, there are LGBTs who are not comfortable with revealing their sexual orientation to others. But again, its now changing with times. The turnout of the number of gays who are now open to their sexuality is much more than what it was a decade ago. So many heterosexuals have also come out in our support participating in gay walks, conferences etc.
The judgement will further change the mindset of the people towards us. The judgment has not only restored the basic fundamental human rights of LGBTs in India but even people in south-Asian countries will be inspired to fight for their rights and it will impact their judiciary as well.” “When I was 18 years old, I tried to kill myself when I realized that my sexual orientation is different since all the people around me were heterosexual. My college mates who were dating then would go around as boyfriend-girlfriend, but I always felt torn between my head and my heart. I felt disconnected from them because of my sexual orientation. I always felt that something is wrong with me. The judgement will provide solace to many others like me who are on the same journey,” added Bhuptani. Bhuptani who is from Bikaner used to feel that he would be ostracised, if he revealed his sexuality to his loved ones and friends.
“I felt ashamed of myself and I also felt people would laugh at me. All I could think of is committing suicide since I did not have any support from my family and friends. I would read media reports about other LGBTs celebrating their sexuality with pride. So I thought, why should I not do the same. The journey started with self-confusion, self-negligence, introspection and then finally self acceptance. The Gay and Lesbian Vaishnava Association has 2500 members connected across Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, Rajkot and Chennai. Bhuptani is now looking forward to equality in marriage for LGBTs, gay adoption rights, discrimination at work place and equal civil rights for the community. The organisation has been functional since 2012 inter-relates homosexuality and faith and conducts inter-state conferences to bring individuals together. “There are LGBTs who have questions in their mind like ‘Am I a good Hindu because I am gay? We address such issues and share our personal experiences, ‘ he said.