LGBTQIA+: The Vibrant Shades of Love!
Let’s start with an interesting question: Which color aggravates a bull? Did you say red? Well, guess what? That's not correct! Contrary to popular belief, bulls are, in fact, color-blind!
Boom! In minutes, a popular belief got bulldozed. Are you ready for another? It’s always assumed, women should love and marry men and men, women. That’s the only ‘correct’ way! Well, that’s another delusion blinding society. While we’re conditioned to view sexuality as binary - black and white, male and female, it is, de facto, a spectrum of possibilities, a vibrant rainbow!
It’s not an unknown fact that LGBTQIA+ communities have to shield themselves from the swords of rejection from family, societal judgments/discrimination, forced marriage with the opposite sex, bullying, fear, shame, and embarrassment every day.
Because the LGBTQIA+ community’s definition of love differs from the traditional one, they are often marginalized and treated as outcasts. But society doesn’t have to be a puzzle where people must conform to fit in. Instead, it needs to be a canvas where all expressions of love are embraced and celebrated.
The belief that identifying as LGBTQIA+ is a choice is a myth. It is no more a choice than your skin color.
When society speaks of terms like ‘gay’ or ‘lesbian’, there is a tenor of discomfort, awkwardness, and prejudice. Although now the youth are imbibing the note of acceptance and inclusivity, the deeply ingrained conservative beliefs of labeling the love between two men, two women, or transgender people as ‘unacceptable’ and ‘sinful’ still reign in many minds.
The assertion that people claim to have exclusive rights to define love and determine which forms are appropriate or not, is, in itself, a fallacy that we must reject.
How to unchain ourselves from Homo/Bi/Transphobia?
Knowing that identifying oneself as LGBTQIA+ is NOT a choice. It is influenced by genetic composition and environmental exposure.
Rise above the irrational myths about the LGBTQIA+ community. Not ALL non-cis-gendered people will approach you with the idea of asking you out. Being homosexual is not just a ‘phase’ or a ‘disorder’ and something to be ashamed about.
Normalize the talks and representations of gay men, lesbian women, bisexuals, transgenders, asexuals, queers, or intersex. Our cinema, our conversations, and our stories should not ostracize the rainbow community. Instead, they should foster more awareness and acceptance.
Introduce Sex Education in schools and nurture minds at an early age. This will help people understand the concept of gender as a spectrum
Normalize and support the phase where people question and explore their sexualities. Everyone should feel safe to do so.
The ever-evolving gender spectrum is a color palette of all shades and hues. It is fluid and opens up a range of possibilities to identify your sexual orientation.
Just as your food choices can change over time, so can your sexuality. It is not bound by rigidity, and you can oscillate between the multi-dimensional spectrum that places all identities on a uniform dais.
Who is an Ally of LGBTQIA+?
Identifying yourself under the umbrella of LGBTQIA+ may seem like a daunting task, especially in places where the laws do an inadequate job of safeguarding and supporting the community.
An Ally is a pivotal character in creating a safe, empowering, and nurturing space for them. They provide genuine support, voice out against the discrimination of LGBTQIA+ people, and fight for equal rights for all.
An Ally, empathically understands the problems faced by the LGBTQIA+ community, accepts them as they are without any judgments, and joins in the battle for an egalitarian society. They not only help make LGBT people feel safe, comfortable, accepted, and loved, but they also educate, advocate, and celebrate the diversity of sexual orientation in conventional societal attitudes.
How to be an Ally of LGBTQIA+?
Be Aware: Knowledge and education are harbingers of rationality and truth. The more aware we are about the LGBTQIA+ community, the more we can understand, empathize and support them. So go ahead, ask your questions, and break the assumptions you had all along.
Voice out: When you hear a discriminating or offensive remark about them, do not stay silent, set the tone for tolerance and educate others on how they too are just like us, not aliens! Hearing you speak up might inspire others to do the same.
Normalize talks: Talking about LGBTQIA+ should not be a taboo topic. Speak boldly and confidently about them. Let people know that it is high time to talk about them, hear their stories, and make films about them.
Establish Equality: Be it in school, office, or home, help and protect LGBTQIA+ people from bias and criticism. Just because their notion of love doesn’t match with yours, it doesn’t mean you discriminate against them and deny them opportunities.
Join a group: Since anyone can be an Ally, proudly support the LGBTQIA+ community by joining associations fighting for their rights or taking part in rallies and pride celebrations! Even showing support online is a huge part of being an Ally!
The privileges that heterosexuals take for granted, such as marriage, adoption, showing public affection, or simply talking about their love life in public are a huge battle for the LGBTQIA+ community.
When we transcend beyond the prevailing discriminations and look further, we glimpse a world where diversity blooms and there’s inclusivity and rainbows!
Let’s invite and embrace the differences among us and find unity in our kindness and acceptance!
Written by: Aqsa Merchant (BA Psychology, SY, The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda)
Edited by: Rubal Prajapati (Counseling Psychologist and Ph.D. Scholar at Bharathiar University)