#india

Indian Actor Manoj Bajpayee Says Bollywood Needs More LGBTQ Characters

Indian actor Manoj Bajpayee says there needs to be more LGBTQ representation in gay films.

Bajpayee was recently in London to participate in the Bagri Foundation London Indian Film Festival (or LIFF), which encompassed three LGBTQ-inclusive films this year titled “Venus,” “My Son is Gay,” and “Bird of Dusk.”

In an interview with Reuters, Bajpayee stated that he thinks its time that Bollywood become more inclusive of LGBTQ characters.

“There is not enough portrayal or enough films on LGBT rights or LGBT issues in our industry,” he said.

“Earlier these topics were ignored or shoved under the carpet,” he the added.

Right now, LGBTQ representation in Indian entertainment is poor at best. Not only do original films lack representation, but imported films often struggle as well.

Earlier this month, Love, Simon was scheduled to air in India, but the Central Board of Film Certification banned the film because of its gay content.

The situation is much the same in India's politics.

Currently, gay sex is illegal in the country. In 2009, the act was decriminalized, but then it was made illegal again in 2013.

While that law is not rarely enforced, it has created a toxic stigma towards LGBTQ peoplea and life.

Despite the country’s top court gearing up to possibly decriminalize gay sex again this coming July, many LGBTQ advocates face anti-gay treatment, harassment, and threats.

Bajpayee says there should not only be LGBTQ representation on movie screens, but also equal treatment in public law.

“(It) is a sign of a healthy society if each and every citizen of our country is given the rights to live and live in the manner they want to live.”

Again, India’s top court will be making the decision in July. If gay sex is decriminalized again, maybe LGBTQ characters will begin to pop up in Bollywood in the following years.

Homosexuality Declassified as a Mental Illness by Indian Psychiatric Society

Just in time for Pride Month, the Indian Psychiatric Society (IPS) declassified homosexuality as a mental illness last week.

The IPS was founded in 1929 and has about 3,000 members today. This is the first time the organization has publicly addressed the matter.

IPS president Dr. Ajit Bhide said:

“Certain people are not cut out to be heterosexual and we don’t need to castigate them, we don’t need to punish them, to ostracize them.

 

IPS chairperson Dr. Kersi Chavda stated:

“This statement is our official stand on homosexuality, that it is not a disease and should not be treated like one. This is the first time we have released an official stand.”


This is a small victory, though. Homosexuality is still illegal in India under Section 377, and conversion therapy is still common. India's Supreme Court is currently reviewing Section 377, and is expected to declare whether or not to uphold it by October. 

The law, which describes anal sex as an “unnatural offense” has stood since 1862 as a direct result of British colonization. The law was modeled from the British Empire’s buggery law. Britain decriminalized homosexual acts in 1967.

Breaking the long-standing Indian law can result in a 10-year prison sentence, an equivalent punishment to rape. It’s worth noting that oral sex, even between a man and a woman, is prohibited under the law.

Also, as we reported earlier this week, India’s Central Board of Film Certification has outright banned critical darling Love, Simon because it features a gay lead character.

Source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/mumbai-news/stop-treating-homosexuality-as-an-illness-says-indian-psychiatric-society/story-EqoFV1KjFE0mxAxOimX8oN.html


 

India's Censorship Organization Banned The Gay Film "Love, Simon"

Indian movie goers are upset after the country “indefinitely” delayed the release of gay film Love, Simon.

While most of the world has already seen Love, Simon and is awaiting the DVD release of the film, Indian LGBTQ people and movie goers were excited to see the film at the start of this month.

Unfortunately, that never came to fruition as the Central Board of Film Certification (or the CBFC) banned the film because of its gay content.

This announcement incited an online outcry for the unbanning of the film. The hashtags #ReleaseLoveSimoninIndia and #LoveSimon quickly took over India’s twitter feed.

As GayStarnews reports, some people have created online petitions to stop the ban.

One such petition found on Change.org states:

“India has lacked a mainstream powerful representation of its LGBT+ citizens for a long time. Although not Bollywood, this film could… also educate parents about what it means to be gay, lesbian, bisexual etc.”

“This film could have a tremendous impact on the country’s perception of what it means to be a part of the LGBT+ community.”

“This movie can be a medium to create awareness and can be a progressive step in eliminating the stigma that surrounds the LGBT+ community.”

Not only is gay content not allowed in films shown in India, but gay sex is illegal in the country as well. In India, gay sex is criminalized under Section 377 of the Penal Code. The section states that sexual acts “against the order of nature” is prohibited.

That said, India’s Supreme Court is set to possibly change this section and legalize gay sex in an upcoming court case in July. We’ll see which way they decide to rule on.

This Nation's Registered Transgender Voter Population Just Doubled, But Still So Small In Relation To The Real Numbers.

When an entire demographic category of voters doubles in size, the first thought leads to corruption and scandal.  But in this case, the thought is that there should be even more.

The nation is India and the demographic in question is the transgender voting population.

According to data available with the office of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), transgender voter registration has doubled from the previous Assembly elections and 4,552 have registered this year in the State. But is this a good representation of the community?  India's transgender community numbers 4.8 million, according to data from the latest round of the census.

Among the first-time voters is a senior citizen from the community, Jagadamba, 65. She was disowned by her family at the age of 14 and she went to Mumbai where she was forced to beg and engage in sex work to eke out a living.

“I didn’t want to do it anymore. I came back home but my family refused to accept me. I have been living with my community members in Bengaluru. Last month, I was told about voter registration and I finally got my card. I had no idea about the process of voting, before this,” she said. - thehindu.com

How many of us register to vote and don't follow through?  A great amount of us for one reason or another.  But if you are transgender, showing up on voting day may involve more than our simple excuses.  These could range from ridicule and discrimination, name calling, and physical threats.

But then as we know, not everyone that is transgender will register as a transgender voter.  Some have most likely registered as male or female, not wanting to draw attention to being different or becoming a statistic or being discriminated against.

There is also the fact that before you register as a transgender voter, you will have to have the correct paperwork stating that you are transgender and that may be just too many steps out into the spotlight for some people to take.

But it is important for the Indian transgender community to have voters take part in the process.  Stand and be counted!  If you are not counted, then no one will know you are there.

Bravo for India and its doubling the number of transgender voters.  But with a population of 1.3 billion, a transgender population of possibly 4.8 million and now just over 4,500 registered transgender voters, there is still a long way to go.  But we in the West may be looking for pointers soon.


Next time you look at any forms, consider looking to see the variety of options.

We still live in a very binary world. 

Many forms and policies still only deal with (cis) male or (cis) female.

Have you filled out any forms recently or even in your lifetime that have the word transgender on it?  or even "other"? 

Or more than the male or female options for gender identification?


h/t:  thehindu.com