Not enough can be written about the plight of L.G.B.T community in India.
Pride Walks, protests, petitions, it's all been done. But there still seems to be a latent hostility towards homosexuals in certain sections of society.
Our constitution guarantees us Equality Before The Law (Article 14), Non-Discrimination On Grounds Of Sex (Article 15), Right To Freedom Of Expression (Article 19), and Right To Life And Personal Liberty (Article 21).
But it has also left us in the grip of the infamous Article 377.
Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code dating back to the colonial era, criminalizes sexual activities "against the order of nature", which also includes homosexual acts.
Being a gay man in India isn't easy. Many people don't understand that being gay isn't a choice. It's a part of a person's innate self.
That's why when we heard this brave-heart's story of coming out to his family, we knew it had to be told.
This young guy, who we call * Arvind, was tortured by what he saw and heard being spoken about gay people in India, decided to come out to his mother. Though he had already told a few of his straight friends about it, he felt that it was necessary that his family knew as well.
Despite his mother wanting to understand him and embrace him, the mainstream misconceptions about homosexuality crept inside her as well. Feeling concern for her son & at the same time dealing with this shocking revelation, she asked him questions like:
''What's your exact gender? Like a man feels for a woman, you feel for a man? Did it happen because you watched too many sitcoms surrounding gay characters? When did all this start? When was the first time you realised you were gay? Will marriage ever be an option? How will you face the society?''
Please note, the questions weren't coming from a hateful place. It was just a result of the lack of information out there regarding homosexuality & the LGBT community in general.
However this account of coming out to his mother, which he talked about on his blog, caught the eye of his cousin brother.
His cousin brother promptly sent him a reply. A reply that ought to be read out to every single human being who thinks that a person's sexual orientation determines the level of acceptance he gets in society.
(Etta means elder brother in Malayalam)
Let's hope that there comes a day when gay men and women aren't made to feel like outsiders just for being themselves.
Let's love and let love!
* All names have been changed on request.