Despite the very obvious and troubling fact that there is a stamp of illegality on the very identity of the LGBT community in India, we’re constantly trying our best to break out from the status quo and change the existing circumstances.

It’s a pity that members of the LGBT community are still having to combat an array of nuisances that no member of civilized society should have to deal with in this day and age.

Here’s a list of forever-ignored problems plaguing the LGBT community on a daily basis, which throw light on exactly how backward we still are.

1. There is no proper sex education in place.

While the very idea of sex is still a huge taboo in our society, sex education has a critical role to play in our process of growing up. We have however come a long way and there has been a considerable increase in the levels of awareness about the birds and bees amongst teenagers in contemporary society. When it comes to a queer individual growing up in the Indian society however, the situation is dismal. Most of us have no idea how to go about getting dirty, until we get down to doing some practical “research”.

2. Health issues end up getting ignored

Growing up heterosexual, the two distinct dangers associated with sex are restricted to accidental pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. But homosexuality leads to a whole host of different health problems that don’t get talked about. There are a plethora of STDs at large, and because of the lack of awareness and information available, we end up ignoring health issues that we might potentially be threatened by.

3. There’s no end to the ugly labelling and homophobic slurs.

Other than the fact that members of the LGBT community face physical assaults far too frequently, there is also the incessant verbal assault that we have to deal with on a daily basis. More often than not, the terms ‘gay’ and ‘faggot’ are used loosely with a blatantly negative connotation, and it just is not cool. Being gay is not a fucking expletive.

4. Being gay is still largely dismissed as a mental illness.

Even in the age of information, the lack of awareness that exists is daunting. And not just amongst the older generation that refuses to come to terms with the reality of alternate sexualities, but even amongst the millennials. It’s awfully disheartening to come across young, seemingly educated individuals doling out misinformed opinions. Google, you guys. Before you form a strong, bigoted opinions, why not resort to the Internet and do your part in educating yourselves.

5. Coming out is an ordeal you have to go through with every time you meet someone new.

Coming out to your loved ones with your sexuality is one of the most emotionally tumultuous, gut wrenching experiences that anyone could have to go through in their lives. But even if you’ve made it through that ordeal unscathed, talking about your sexuality and discussing it with every single person you meet is not a very inviting prospect. Other than frequent loose judgements being passed, there are also the risks of being ostracized and assaulted for being just who you are.

6. S exual assault within the LGBT community is a reality.

Victims of same-sex sexual assault are invisible to professionals used to handling male-on-female rape, and are shunned by a community that will accuse victims of destroying their glorious vision with the idea of inconvenient victimhood. A lot of people still have trouble believing that it’s even possible for a woman to rape someone. Clarifying the reality invites comparisons to an evil, predatory lesbian, but ignoring it is doing nothing to battle the epidemic of gay people being assaulted.

7. Constant exposure to i nvasive, uncomfortable questions

While you’re more than welcome to ask questions and clarify doubts you might have in your understanding of alternate sexualities, wanting to delve into the details of one’s private sexual life is point blank rude. “How exactly do you do it?” is a question that most lesbians are faced with on a daily basis. Sorry, sistah. I REALLY don’t want to talk about that. How about you Google ‘scissoring’ instead?

8. There are inherent problems within the community

This one time, at Jantar Mantar, where members of the community and allies flocked to protest the re-criminalization of Sec 377, there was blatant display of a very apparent classist attitude. The movement for gay rights in the country is inherently an elitist one, despite the fact that this ‘ minuscule minority’ consists of the working class and the lower middle class as well. Watching people on stage talking about their experiences being boo-ed at because of their imperfect diction by seemingly educated allies, was an extremely jarring experience.

The public image of the gay man is still a perfectly sculpted slab of muscle-cake, and there is a prevalent pressure to comply with that very image to be taken seriously within the community, and also, in the search for partners.

We’re here. We’re queer. And it’s high time you sit up and take notice. While the reality of securing basic rights for the LGBT community might still be a long way off, we can do a lot more to integrate members within the fabric of mainstream society.