Sec 377 Was Read Down in 2018, But the Fight for Rights Goes On

Sec 377 Was Read Down in 2018, But the Fight for Rights Goes On

LGBT

The year 2018 was a significant one for the LGBTQ+ community in India.

On 6 September 2018, the Supreme Court, in a landmark judgment, read down Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, decriminalising consensual same-sex sexual acts.

Celebrations erupted across the country as the community and its supporters welcomed the apex court’s decision, that came more than twenty years after the constitutionality of the colonial-era statute was first challenged.

Members of the LGBTQ+ community celebrated the reading down of Section 377.
Members of the LGBTQ+ community celebrated the reading down of Section 377.
(Photo: AP)
Members of the LGBTQ+ community celebrated the reading down of Section 377.
Members of the LGBTQ+ community celebrated the reading down of Section 377.
(Photo: AP)

Also Read : ‘I am Crying Rainbows’: Indians After Section 377 Verdict

The Year of Pride

The pride parades that followed the Supreme Court’s verdict were more vibrant and joyous than ever.

A poster from the Delhi Pride Parade, held in November 2018.
A poster from the Delhi Pride Parade, held in November 2018.
(Photo Courtesy: Priyanka Bansal/The Quint)
A couple kiss during the Delhi Pride Parade, held in November 2018.
A couple kiss during the Delhi Pride Parade, held in November 2018.
(Photo: AP)

The Year of Drag

The reading down of Section 377 also meant that members of the LGBTQ+ community could now express themselves more freely.

The drag culture in India definitely received mainstream media’s attention post the verdict.

Prateek Sachdeva is a freelance dancer and is a drag queen by the name of Betta Naan Stop.
Prateek Sachdeva is a freelance dancer and is a drag queen by the name of Betta Naan Stop.
(Photo: The Quint)
The entire philosophy of drag is that gender is a performance. Don’t take it too seriously.  
Ayushman, Lawyer and Drag Queen
 Ayushman is a human rights lawyer and a drag performer. His drag persona is called Lush Monsoon.
Ayushman is a human rights lawyer and a drag performer. His drag persona is called Lush Monsoon.
(Photo: The Quint)

Also Read : ‘Don’t Be a Drag, Just Be a Queen’: The Indian Drag Scene Is Here 

The Fight Goes On...

However, many recognised that the reading down of Section 377 was just the beginning. The battle for acceptance still had a long way to go.

In December 2018, the Lok Sabha passed the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, with 27 amendments to its previous version. The bill, in its new form, violates more rights of transgender persons than it protects.

Protests erupted in parts of India against the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill.
Protests erupted in parts of India against the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill.
(Photo Courtesy: Twitter)

The transgender, intersex, and gender non-confirming community from across the country demanded that the bill be withdrawn.

Protests erupted in parts of India against the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill.
Protests erupted in parts of India against the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill.
(Photo Courtesy: Twitter)

While the battle against Section 377 is won, the fight against Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill continues.

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