Narrow public outlook to sexual orientation
I am sharing a real life story in response to the trending topic “Which bad habits of Indians would you like to change for our India?” on Indiblogger.in. Like it, share it, and vote it to spread the message wide.
I would like to change the narrow outlook of the people in India. The way they look at two boys hugging each other or holding each other’s hand while crossing a road has deteriorated to a very low level. These boys are perceived to be boyfriends or gays in the public eye. Can’t they be brothers or close friends? If a man observes another man in public, his sexual orientation is misunderstood. It is just as a woman observes another woman’s saree, jewellery, makeup and hairdo. I have suffered the stings of such narrow public outlook, which I would like to change in India. Here is a real life incident to share with you…
Once I was traveling in Kolkata Metro from DumDum to Rabindra Sadan almost 6 years ago. The compartment was full of commuters as usual. I luckily got a seat as I boarded the Metro at DumDum Station which was the terminal in North Kolkata. The crowd in the compartment was dispelled by the time Park Street Station came. I noticed a good-looking boy (he looked younger than me by 3 to 4 years) sitting in front of me on the opposite side and wearing a cool yellow t-shirt with the tagline, “Sex is my sixth sense”. He appeared to be a college goer as he was carrying the kind of bag which students of his age use to carry books, and holding a diary in one hand. I guessed him to be a student mainly because Bhawanipore College, one of the most urbane colleges for ultra-modern youngsters in Kolkata, is accessible from Netaji Bhavan Station, next to Rabindra Sadan.
The bold tagline on the boy’s t-shirt caught my attention. I wondered how daring he was, and how he could muster the courage to flaunt such an indecent fashion statement in classroom. It made me think if that was the fashion of the Gen Y which brands of trendy apparels and accessories had begun to cash in. While staring at the tagline “Sex is my sixth sense” on his t-shirt, I got lost in some thoughts of my university days for a moment. When I was in the first year of M.A. (English Literature), I bought a black t-shirt with the tagline “TV 13 Dekh” in bold white. The tagline was neither bold nor indecent though the meaning was somewhat uncanny as 13 is supposed to be an evil number. It had caught the attention of a professor at the university and a teacher at Ramkrishna Mission Institute of Culture. Even some of my students had asked me the meaning of “TV 13 Dekh”. I wondered if I had worn tees with bold taglines having the word ‘SEX’, in college or university, what the public reaction would have been.
I came out of the trance when a boy and a girl sitting side by side next to that college guy gave a silly laugh looking at me. I heard them mutter something to each other, which was perhaps meant for me. Most probably, they laughed at me under the wrong impression that I was looking at the guy and admiring his good looks. They might have taken me to be a gay to my wildest imagination.
This is the attitude of Indians, these days. Laughing at the people of socially aberrant genders and mistaking one’s sexual orientation for something else are two of the disgusting habits of Indians.