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Even today, after the September 6th, 2018 verdict many people have a number of questions about the LGBTQ+community, their stories, struggles. And at times, even the concept of sexuality itself.
On 6th September 2018, in a historical judgement, the Supreme Court of India legalized homosexuality in India. The judgement breached the ever continuing unequal practices towards the LGBTQIA+ community and marked a step further towards achieving gender equality.
But was this step enough to eradicate the stereotypical thinking and homophobic behavior deeply embedded in the psyche of people? The status and acceptance that people of the LGBTQIA+ community deserve is still kept from them because of the homophobic practices and learning that people have adopted through generations.
Even today, after approximately, a year and a half of the legalization of homosexuality, people have a number of questions about the community, their stories, struggles. And at times, even the concept of sexuality itself.
To answer some of these questions and establish an open dialogue about homosexuality and the LGBTQIA+ community, we had Ankita Mehra take over the Women’s Web Instagram stories on June 14th 2020.
Ankita Mehra is a queer individual and an active member of the society who spreads awareness about homosexuality and LGBTQIA+ community. She is an activist and an ex-Roadies contestant who is also the director of Equiv.in that works extensively towards providing opportunities of earning for various different talents.
Ankita spoke about gender orientation and professional settings. She also described how the situation is better now in terms of job facilities and the obstacles they faced, in terms of earning a livelihood have also reduced for the queer people. On the one hand, the problem still exists in the documentation process regarding selection of gender. However, discrimination in professional settings has reduced.
She says, “Now the problem has reduced…almost 40 percent of companies do not even care about your orientation, body, figure or gender. They just believe in giving you an opportunity because you are talented.”
She also spoke about the steps taken by corporate sectors to include members from diversity. “Nowadays , corporate are taking big steps, in terms of hiring a lot of people from diverse backgrounds which involves LGBTQIA+ community.”
Companies are coming up with safe spaces, encouraging positive environments and sensitization sessions for people with different orientations. These steps make the very basic foundation of moving towards an aware and vigilant society.
In the takeover, Ankita discusses another important subject of inclusivity in present society. She says an inclusive society is, “When you start accepting people the way they are. From any religion, any caste, any gender or with any disability. Just respect everyone around you.”
Ankita also talks about individual contribution towards achieving this. Change happens when one steps up, speaks and takes an action towards it. She says, “It starts with you. Start influencing people around you. You are the one who can step up and say I support each and every individual because every life matters.”
In her session, Ankita also spoke of how the process of coming out as a queer individual has been for her. She opened up about how coming out to herself and realizing her own identity was difficult for her in contrast to coming out in front of her family members, “Once my family accepted me, I didn’t look back. I’m just being myself.” Her supportive and accepting parents boosted her motivation and confidence.
In her insta takeover, Ankita touches upon various areas that affect the lives of the LGBTQIA+ community. She gives her valuable insights on both professional and personal spaces. And talks about society and individuals with diverse identities and backgrounds. She also gave some really valuable suggestions for the individuals of the community and others, towards making efforts to change perspectives and behaviors.
Image source: Unsplash
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