BHUBANESWAR: After a spectacular leap on LGBT rights in India following the decriminalisation of Section 377, the country has bid adieu to prejudices regarding LGBT couples. V-Day this year would have a different feel to it as couples of each kind would celebrate the day with equal gusto.
Earlier, love only of the heterosexual kind was observed and celebrated on the day. Queer love was hardly mentioned. However, couples can now be open about their sexual orientation and celebrate their love freely as the cupid has arrived for all this time.
After decriminalisation of homosexuality, people are now more open to share their stories and come to recognise themselves in the public platform. Aryan Das, a student, said, “I have always remained very frank and vocal of me being a gay. I do not see any issue in disclosing my identity. This Valentine’s Day certainly has a different feel to it due to the recent SC judgement.”
The narrative of excluding LGBT couples from media coverage on this day seems to be changing as the society broadens its acceptance of reality. “Things are changing. The young generation is more vocal about LGBT couples. Social media and mainstream cinemas are showing a very progressive theme about the unconventional tale of finding love and its acceptance in the society which is playing a pivotal role in influencing people’s perspectives,” said Swagatika Swain, a student from a private college.
On being enquired whether the recent SC judgement on section 377 will redefine valentine week celebration, Aroop Anand, a homosexual said, “I am looking forward to celebrating Valentine’s Day with my partner. We have decided to go to a movie, have lunch and enjoy our day. I don’t see any difference in Valentine’s Day celebration between homosexuals and heterosexuals. The hegemony of conservatives has been broken for good.”
Celebrations this year are no longer in the domain of straight couples only. The gradual shift of queer spaces from underground venues to famous hangout zones is significant. This narrative signifies that love is a universal feeling that cannot be shackled by societal norms and prejudices.