Are Indians Opening Their Minds To Gay Marriages?

A mother recently posted a matrimonial ad seeking a groom for her son indicating that homosexuality is probably losing its taboo status despite Section 377

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Are Indians Opening Their Minds To Gay Marriages?

The law of the land doesn’t permit it but probably a section of the Indian society has decided to open its doors to same-sex relationships. Recently, a South Indian lady put out a matrimonial advertisement for her son, Harish Iyer (a locally known LGBT activist). The ad stated that she was looking for a groom for her son and not a bride. Soon, it went viral.

Which brought us to the real question: Are Indians slowly opening their minds to gay marriages though its illegal in the eyes of the law?

Leading psychologist and counsellor, Dr Varkha Chulani says that though theres no sea change in perspective towards homosexuals, more parents are now accepting their childs sexual preference. “I have not seen the advertisement in question but I think its a step forward. We should be happy that a positive outlook towards same-sex relationships is developing,” she says.

Apart from the obvious legal hassles, accepting homosexual relationships also remains taboo because they have often been mocked at in popular culture, including films and TVCs. Films like Abhishek Bachchan-John Abraham starrer Dostana, which looked at gay relationships empathetically but with a tinge of comedy, are few and far in between. I made Dostana seven years ago and said what I had to with my film, says Tarun Mansukhani.

Dunno Y...Naa Jaane Kyon, featuring actors Yuvraaj Parashar and Kapil Sharma as a gay couple, was critically acclaimed and screened across the world at various film festivals. However, it hardly found takers in India and was released on a much smaller scale than a B-grade movie.

The discouraging reception in India hasnt deterred the actors. Theyve already made a sequel to the film, for which they shot posters inspired by iconic films like Titanic, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge and Aashiqui 2 with the gay couple replacing the hero and heroine.

Shahid director Hansal Mehta is directing Aligarh, which looks at the relationship that a male professor in Aligarh had with a male student. Manoj Bajpayee and Rajkummar Rao play the lead pair.

When asked about the issue at hand, Rao said, If a man loves a man, wants to be with a man and not a woman, its time we learn to respect that. No one should be forced to accept something that they dont believe in.

Fashion designer Rohit Verma says that its a brilliant move on the mothers part to post the ad. It takes guts to accept the sons sexual preference and then post an ad for a partner for him. I know so many people who live suppressed lives. They are gay but fear social stigma. They are pressurised by their parents. So they end up marrying and having children but live very dissatisfied lives. I wish their parents were as brave as this woman is. Theyd lead happy lives too, he says, adding, I think gays should also be allowed to adopt kids.

Bobby Darling, one of the first celebrities to step out of the closet, confesses that hes had many boyfriends. But the relationships were confined to the four walls of his house. We could never go to their house because they had parents who didnt approve of us, he says, adding, I dont think India is ready for homosexuality yet. But hats off to the lady who has defied norms.

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