A year ago exactly on September 6, 2018, India saw a moment of victory after an extremely long fight against an oppressive law. Today, a year later, India marks the first anniversary of the decriminalization of Section 377, the law that made consensual same sex intercourse unnatural and illegal. The end of the age old oppressive law ensured that no discrimination is made on the basis of an individual’s sexual orientation. Now, on the one year anniversary of the SC judgment and fashion designer Wendell Rodricks now recalls the victorious moment and the year that has been since then.
Wendell Rodricks, an Indian fashion designer, is also an activist for social causes and gay rights. In an excerpt in Bombay Times, he wrote about the agony of the impending judgement a year ago and the anxiety in the LGBTQIA+ community. He wrote, “To distract myself from the agony of the impending judgement, I enrolled in Alison Jane Lobo’s Goan bread-making class in Dona Paula. All morning I refused to look at my cellphone, because my stomach was in knots. At noon, my world began to spin. The calls came in fast and jubilant from the media. I found myself in a vortex of TV studios and media interviews. In the euphoria, I was insane enough to agree to write articles for three publications before sunset! I can never forget that moment.” When the Supreme Court ruled in the favour of the LGBTQIA+ community, he listened in utter disbelief and joy and was in tears when Judge Indu Malhotra said the country owed an apology to the community. After that, he recalls that the entire community erupted in celebration and across India, people expressed themselves by hugging, crying, rejoicing and waving the pride flag with delight.
He further mentions that the Supreme Court’s decision to decriminalize Section 377 has resulted in various changes and it is unbelievable. He wrote, “The judgement showed a new India to the world. The world watched with respect that the largest democracy on earth had shown compassion, human rights and inclusivity. With India leading the way, other South and Far East Asian as well as African and Arabic nations observed what was happening.”
He further adds that there is still a long way to go and more work ahead, but for now, it is time to celebrate!
Image Source: Sclance, Products Gram, Instagram/wendellrodricks
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