Members of the Indian queer community are concerned with the ongoing effects of legislation that previously criminalised homosexuality and queerness.
The Indian Penal Code of 1860 criminalised queerness under section 377, Unnatural Offences Associated with Intercourse. The punishment could be between ten years and life (until death).
Section 377 was abolished in 2018, however some members and supporters of the community have expressed concerns that the long-standing laws caused LGBTIQA+ people to be marginalised.
Deeptha Rao, a lawyer from Alternate Law Forum said, “essentially the entire community has been pushed into the fringes and is invisible.”
Drag Queen culture is part of the LGBTQIA+ community and facing similar issues with lack of awareness and marginalisation.
The World Bank reports 56% of white-collar LGBT workers have reported discrimination in the workplace.
Ms Rao stated, “Drag culture in India is something that is fairly secretive, something that is more or less spread around by word of mouth within the community.”
The LGBTQIA+ community in Bangalore is growing. 700 participants attended the first Pride March in 2007 and 3000 individuals participating in the 2018 Pride March.
Ayaan Syed, Organiser of Namma Pride Bangalore said, “we are seeing a lot more conversation about LGBTQIA+ people and than when you get to the ground level… there is little to no change in how people are being treated in society.”
Bangalore is considered to be one of the most progressive cities in India according to JLL City Momentum Index 2017.
However, members of the LGBTQIA+ are still pushing for this acceptance to spread.
— Dana Rutner @dana_rutner