I find it hard to understand why LGBT people in India are invisibilised in corporate spaces. I’ve always seen the eunuchs and the trans-women struggling to find an identity in the corporate spaces around the country. I’ve had casual chats with people and I’ve noticed glimpses of hesitation in their voices. They must have felt a bit uncomfortable when the discussion started.
At every turn, the sex in sexuality stands under immense danger of being silenced by our own discomfort. censorship too, has played its part in curtailing the exposure one should get when it comes to understanding sexuality and everything related to it. Throughout my life (Well, I’m just 22 years old :)).I’ve noticed disgust and discomfort regarding the whole idea of sex. Often this discomfort does not come out as plain and outspoken revulsion. Rather, it becomes a banal dismissal of sex talks as something indecent and objectionable. Sometimes, even words aren’t enough to explain the disgust. The word ‘chee’ says it all.
Many of us end up categorizing people and ideologies dealing with sex and sexuality as ‘anti-national’. Such claims of cultural,and sometimes national indecency amplify the compulsions to remain silent on just about everything related to sex, be it sexuality, LGBT issues or the so-called feeling of ‘desire’.
I remember reading a news article about the “Hug a Queer” rally organized by the LGBT community at Marine Drive in Mumbai, I read somewhere that there were incidents where the public chided the event organizers. A lot of people claim that the idea of sexuality is against our culture and our shastras and that it is something that needs to remained confined within the length and breadth of one’s bedroom.
Even the hugs and handshakes between a male and female are considered ‘offensive’ by many people. This entire misinterpretation of culture and tradition are responsible for our for an alarmingly high rate of hesitation when it comes to talking about sexual health. It is this misinterpretation of sexuality which silences and suppresses newness, knowledge and awareness.
And that’s not all, I read in an article published in The Telegraph that an expert panel working for adolescent education was somewhat pressurized by the Ministry of Human Resources and Development (MHRD) to omit the words sex and sexuality from the final document they had prepared.
People often refrain themselves from using the world ‘sex’ openly because of the fear that it might end up offending people and their beliefs. It is quiet disheartening and moreover, disappointing to see that even the use of the term ‘sex’ for the purpose of empowering people with knowledge is being labelled as something offensive and indecent.
The population of India is approx 1.25 billion. It is an assumption that every second, a child is born in India, which clearly means that someone, somewhere, in a supposedly remote town of a lesser known village or town must be having sex with his/her partner. The problem lies in the way the entire concept of sex and sexuality is being presented by the society.
Sexuality is something that is policed and relegated to the private sphere. The reason, I believe, behind viewing sex and sexuality in a largely negative light is the countless negative messages around the idea of sex that we encounter in our daily life. Sex is something that has always been there in the society, but all the negative chatter surrounding sex, right from news channels reporting incidents of rape and sexual violence to news reports throwing light on infidelity, has made the issue ever-so gruesome and serious. It won’t be wrong to say that the entire idea surrounding sex and sexual health has been positioned negatively.
On a personal note, It won’t be wrong to say that sexual health is an integral cog in the wheel when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Talking about sex isn’t an act of indecency. It is a form of knowledge, a form of awareness which should not remain confined to the bedroom.
The need of the hour is to be a bit more open-minded when it comes to talking about sex. It’ll help people to nurture a healthy and tolerant attitude towards sex irrespective of their sexual orientation and/or beliefs.