We more often don’t cherish differences when it comes to thought processes. We bound ourselves in a way, and fail to try and understand, ways of lives which are different than ours.
We have this pseudo-reality cemented in our brain that we lie in the ” normal curve” of the population, and hereby justify our actions and opinions based on that, no matter how irrational.
The “outliers” because of a certain box of characteristics are labelled and signed off as ” something not within the usual limits of human behaviour.” To accept the diversity in its various forms, some man-made while some natural, does not require an intellectual incarceration or a vogue transformation.
We need to sit silent, observe, endure, listen and then learn.
Don’t try to leap towards the end goal.
Your goal isn’t to accept the diversity all-together.
If you will try to do so, you might get overwhelmed and leave this tedious process all together.
Rather, it’s to become increasingly empathetic day after day; by-product of which i.e ” accepting behaviour” would come readily to you.
Mindlessly accepting LGBTQIA+ folks is worse than being critical of them.
Because, then you’re just a bystander or a mute spectator, to their increasingly changing ways of exploitation from explicit to implicit scenarios.
They need your voices, not your nod.
This pride month is less about celebrating their diversity, but more about acknowledging their existence.
This Rainbow Capitalism which various companies have resorted to , is just another attempt at optimising marketing strategies to serve their purpose right.
Not an act of openness, but plain showmanship.
So, don’t follow that path.
To the world out there, pride month might look like a bit of a stretch.
A celebration extended too long.
But if we try and delve deep into the history of LGBTQIA+ folks, we might find something that will explain their painful journey so far. Not that, they were the only minority marginalized out of all , but , rather the only one, still struggling for “recognition” if not “pride”.
But with time, they will gain what’s rightful to their needs, i.e “pride” too.
The month is a tribute to all the radical activists, social reformers , the working class members which lived in anonymity but fought for what’s rightful in all it’s grace and beauty.
Some fought in silence, some not so silent.
Some succumbed to the former while some took that as an inspiration to move forward and catalyse a change in the working dynamics of that era.
A change of inclusion, not intrusion.
Where do I start to speak, out of all the atrocities and humiliation they experienced from literally every nook and corner !
The only hope and companion they had, were their community members themselves, helpless the same way they were. Shackled to the society’s ways, throttled by the boiling guilt and rage.
Healthcare if I speak of, has done most injustice of all. They not only refused to acknowledge their “real” issues, but rather, resorted to an oppressive stance doing more harm than good. So much so, there were some irrational clinical procedures in place to selectively torment them.
Conversion therapy,aversion therapy, frontal lobe lobotomy to name a few.
Legislature was slow and ignorant to their needs. They for a long time turned a deaf ear to them.
In a way, they for a long time were devoid of basic human rights.”Basic” for a reason, not a privilege.
Police often had a free-hand and unrestrained stance on the way they used to treat them.
Inhuman to say the least.
Their mere presence was seen as a threat to the civilised community and were arrested on more than one occasion, for no particular reason at all.
Freedom of speech and freedom to live were critical in presence.
They were starving for acknowledgement and helpless in the way they were treated.
Believe me. After all these atrocities, if they could change, they would have.
But they didn’t.
Because being “gay” was utterly natural to them, just like heterosexuality is to you.
Without that, they couldn’t live. But could “survive”, as many of the folks did, an inferior form of living.
In their struggle to regain their freedom and dignity, they lost some of that in the process. What an irony huh?
They struggled on the behalf of those who couldn’t, they tolerated the blows of baton and the ‘chiikup’ of whiplash.
They sacrificed their right to live with dignity, in fighting for it.
They sacrificed their freedom of ‘self’ in fighting for its collective counterpart.
Stonewall Riots were a benchmark in the struggle for equal rights for this community worldwide. The cascade which culminated into the current so-called progressive scenario started in 1969.
28th June 1969, a date etched in the memory of those who in retrospect marvel at the initiative of that regular day in the calendar roll.
The mental health of the marginalized community has always intrigued me as a person.
Since,in a way, I used to think that we deliberately, but sometimes unconsciously allot ourselves to one or the other group. Then constructing a scenario around it, where we feel oppressed and shackled by the normative societal constraints, mostly moral.
Ironically, but true, normativity has never served its purpose right.
So, we feel outliers in one way or the other. In some aspects, falling within the normal curve, while some odd balls striking the field out of the fence. Not regretting doing that, but now, wary more than ever of the eyeing peeps.
But some communities are oppressed more than others in an objective sense.
The dismissal of their ways of life, the social cues to deliberately seclude them from community participation, well-formed laws barring them for applying in the government sector, the unecessary raids on gay meet-up points and on top of that their unlawful persecution on baseless grounds.
Need I say more?
We have a long way to go. This is just the beginning. So keep an open mind and least you can do is listen and observe.