Beyond colors of the parade
Updated: Feb 17, 2022
Pride month is important, and despite having an entire month dedicated to the community,
several issues are not addressed. Perhaps because we only talk about it for a month.
Individuals who grow up with a queer identity experience trauma in the current world. An often un-noticed concern about queer conversations are about abuse. While the community is constipated with accepting queerness, much deeper and yet very familiar issues about being queer falls on our blind spot.
Violation of boundaries and abusive relationships are not exclusive to cis-het relationships.
Rather, it is perhaps more subtle and erosive between a queer couple, where the stigmatized
identity might be used as a weapon to threaten a partner into submitting. Failing to meet the demands of the partner, a queer person may be threatened with a forced outing, or be told that nobody else would accept their queerness, or that they should be grateful that at least someone is willing to love them.
This is glaringly wrong, many of us recognize that. It is a toxic relationship, and getting out of it should be the natural thing to do. And yet, it isn't easy, because the circumstances are not the same. A queer person has most likely experienced multiple instances of shaming, rejection and trauma - with families, peers and even their governing systems. Societies and religions dehumanize them, and when someone is seen as less deserving than a human being, crossing boundaries and abuse become free passes.
We have spent decades to talk about acceptance, while the stigma imposed on the queer
community was exploited, and queer people were abandoned and abused. People whose partners have made them feel confused, insecure, unworthy of respect and love, which is hard to fight against when the society says the same. People are coerced into sexual contact on the first date, because boundaries are disregarded, and this is left unaddressed because surely, they will be told that they were in the wrong all along. When someone believes they are unworthy, and unwanted, they give in to demands and make compromises, because they are afraid of having no-one with them.
They have minimal exposure to healthy queer relationships, and thus there is minimal modeling. There is a need for better Indian representation, to normalize a healthy queer relationship, and systems in place that provide legal protection for all the members of the community. And that might seem like a problem for someone else, but there is a simple way to make things better. If we adapt a stance of intolerance of injustice and abuse, we will make these demands known to the people around us. And when they demand the same, we slowly enlarge the circle with quintessential human standards of equality, kindness, acceptance and absolute condemnation of abuse.