I saw this movie called Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd yesterday on comp. The story had one character who knew he was gay. The story had another character, who I should say was a bisexual but he always thought he was straight till he fell for this gay guy.
Go back ten years from now. I am not aware of a single Indian movie from that time that ever had homosexuality as a part of the story line. What has changed with time? Did homosexuals exist back then too? Common sense says that of course they did. Have homosexuals always existed? Highly likely! Then what took the Indian Film Industry so long to accept this aspect of life?
Existence Vs Acceptance
The answer is pretty simple. Existence of practices is one thing. Their acceptance is another! I remember having a friend five years back who was vehemently opposed to homosexuality. He looked down upon it. I am not sure if he still feels the same way. But I could never look down upon it. To me, it is a completely personal choice. If two guys sleep with each other, how does it really matter to anyone else? Give me a single point to this.
On this issue, I have something interesting to talk about. My Prof for Development Alternatives (a Humanities & Science Department course in IIT Madras) talked a lot about homosexuality. In fact he discussed the issue so much and so openly, that at a point of time it appeared that he was promoting it. 😛 So a new thing that I learned in this course was: sex and gender are not the same thing. This is interesting, ain’t it?
Sex Vs Gender
Your sex is determined at birth. But gender is something that society tags you with. It took me some time to appreciate this statement. When the Prof told it first, I could not resist asking him this: But sir, if you are born a man, you are a man! What has society to do with it? And then I got my answer. It is the society which tells how a man should live and how he should behave! Interesting! I had never thought about this.
So if the society thinks that a man should penetrate and a woman should be penetrated, the whole concept of gender builds up around this assumption. If you are penetrated, you are a woman. This is what gender is all about. But the fact that so many gays and lesbians exist clearly tells us that, there are people who don’t fall under society’s definition of a man and a woman. Biologically their sex is known, but they are different. And there is absolutely nothing wrong in being that.
As a parting note, this post has not been written to promote homosexuality. The aim is to make the reader realize that there’s a life beyond what we see; what we have been made to see so far. We might never get to be a part of that life, but the least we can do is respect those who live it.