B-Town reacts to Supreme Court’s decision on LGBT

On Thursday, the Supreme Court refused to recognise the LGB community as the third sex. What does this judgment mean for the community. We asked three Bollywood personalities who have been fighting for the rights of the LGBT community for their reaction.

Celina Jaitley

People need to actually be educated about what LGB and transgender actually are. LGBT means Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender. In all fairness Lesbians, Gay and Bisexuals do not identify themselves as a third gender, neither do they want to change their gender. Some people are just trapped emotionally in the wrong body and hence they display/emulate the traits of the opposite sex (Transgenders) and may be identified as a third gender so on a very very ‘technical’ basis LGB cannot fall under third-sex category, ie those who do not identify themselves as either man or woman and those who have not medically changed their sex. So, technically speaking third gender cannot apply to men who love men and women who love women or bisexuals. Having said this, the fate of millions of LGB brothers and sisters hangs undecided with 377 looming on their heads. As for the transgender community, well… we may have made great progress with the new IPC ruling in 2014, however, it underscores the fact that gay is about sexuality and transgender is about gender. My dear friend Ashok Row Kavi once aptly put it when he said, “It’s easier to stuff sexuality into the closet, but gender issues tend to be in your face. Hence the decision. I hope our fight to repeal 377 will also see the light of the day and the promise of our constitution to all its citizens will be fulfilled.”

Apurva Asrani
People often confuse gay and lesbian people with transgender folk because they are all included in the umbrella term ‘LGBT’.

But they are not the same. The only thing that the Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual communities have in common with Transgender people is that they have also been marginalised by society and targeted by the law.

Transgender people, like hijras, eunuchs, Kothis and Aravanis, are people who have a gender identity, or gender expression, that differs from their assigned sex. Therefore they are a third gender. But gay, lesbian and bisexual people are not of a third gender. Gay men have normal, functioning male reproductive organs and identify as men and lesbians have normal, functioning female reproductive organs and identity as women. It is just that their orientation is towards choosing a partner from the same sex. It was a wonderful move by the Supreme Court to recognise the ‘T’, i.e. transgender people, as a third sex in 2014. But I would like to remind the honourable court that the ‘B’ ‘G’ ‘L’, who pay their taxes and are guaranteed equality under the eyes of the constitution, have been ignored.

I don’t believe that one particular gender is first and another second. Who decides the order? Also, the trans-community is considered to have a different gender identity. Being gay or lesbian does not change your gender from being a man or woman.

Posted by on July 3, 2016. Filed under Bollywood. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.