What is LGBT and Article 377?

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What Is LGBT?

The terms LGBT stands for lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender, collectively called the LGBT community. They often use the term pride and gay pride to express the identity of their community which is not much accepted by the mainstream societies. They use the rainbow flag as the symbol of their community where each color denotes to certain values. However, the present day flag only has six colors as pink and indigo were removed over time.

Let us understand these terms more clearly-

  • Heterosexual, or straight, refers to people whose sexual and romantic feelings are mostly for the opposite gender: Men who are attracted to women, and women who are attracted to men.
  • Homosexual, or gay, refers to people whose sexual and romantic feelings are mostly for the same gender: Men who are attracted to men, and women who are attracted to women.
  • Lesbian refers to women who are homosexual.
  • Bisexual or “bi” refers to people whose sexual and romantic feelings are for both genders.
  • Transgender is an umbrella term that encompasses a diversity of gender expression including drag queens and kings, bi-genders, cross-dresses ,  transgenderists,  and transsexuals.
  • Transvestites are people who like to dress like members of the opposite sex.
  • Transsexuals are people who feel that their anatomical sex does not match the gender with which they identify.
  • Bigender refers to people who define themselves as having the behavioral, cultural or psychological characteristics associated with both the male and female genders.
  • Transgender describes someone who is gender variant or transgresses norms as part of their lifestyle or identity.

The LGBT community has not yet reached full “lived” equality. This means that there are still daily burdens and barriers that LGBT individuals face that the heterosexual individuals, in general, do not. Though often hard to see, these forms of discrimination have a significant effect on day-to-day lives.

What is Article 377?

Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) is an act that criminalizes homosexuality and was introduced in the ear in 1861 during the British rule of India. referred to ‘unnatural offenses’ and says whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with imprisonment for life.

Human Rights Watch is an organization that monitors governments around the world for abuse, operating in 90 countries. Kenneth Roth started his career as an attorney, but joined Human Rights Watch in 1987 and has been it’s Executive Director since 1993. Ten years ago he oversaw the creation of a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) rights program, and here he looks back on how LGBT rights have changed over that era.

It is important to support their rights as they too are human beings. Just like we have our own sexual preferences they too have their own sexual preferences. Be that a man or a woman. A person should not be devoid of his/her rights just because they are a little different than us. They too have rights to be who they are and they should have the independence to live the life they wish for. We are no one to judge them or say that they don’t have any rights in the society. That questions us as human beings and not them. LGBT are humans too.

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