Hmmm… before I even start upon this, ask this question to yourselves – "You see two guys holding hands and walking on the road, in your office surrounding, in a bus-stop, you get the drift. What is the first thing that comes up in your mind?" This was a mini-message poll that I conducted on Saturday. The result wasn't very surprsing.
India has long been a land where in you are used to seeing "guys" coming in close contact with each other. With our many sports and activities, like Kabbadi and the sorts. Guys, who are supposed to jigri dosts often walk around with their arms on their shoulders, walk around hand in hand etc. I was quite comfortable with the same. I have no qualms if a guy puts his arm over my shoulder whilst walking, provided we have a discerned comfort level. However, I was surprised when I gauged my own reaction. I was shocked when I saw two guys holding hands and walking together.
Well, to justify my reaction, the way they held hands was too weird. They were almost lilting each other! Anyway, that is not the point here. What I was surprised was as to how easily the word "Gay" imprinted itself onto my mind. What was more shocking was the fact that it has made me uncomfortable and careful ever since _not_ to hold a guy's hand and walk. I was shocked as to how judgmental and biased I had become! Anyway, this got me thinking if it were only me, who'd react this way.
So, followed a mini message poll. What was shocking was the fact that a lotta my associates thought the same. There were only countable number of people – 2 in fact who thought that they would be close friends [no pun intended]. There were a few who did think that in India, it wouldn't necessarily mean something. However, the good majority, 75% and more, thought that they'd be homosexuals.
Anyway, I have another question to you now. Has India become homo-phobic? Well, I personally thought that I wasn't. I beleive in the concept of "Live and Let Live!". As long as the gay people are comfortable around me and I am with the, I have no problem with whatever they do. However, I was shocked that even then according to the true definition, I mite be homophobic.
The word homophobia means irrational fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against homosexuality or homosexuals. It can also mean hatred of and disparagement of homosexual people, their lifestyle, their sexual behavior, or culture, and is generally used to assert bigotry. Opposition to same-sex activism on religious, moral, or political grounds is also generally referred to as "homophobic".
A simple question: If you were approached by a person of the same sex and they hold your hands or any other form of touch, maybe knowingly, unknowingly? What would your reaction be? If you are comfortable with it, well, you aren't homophobic. However, if you do get uncomfortable, hmmm, maybe you are homophobic.!
And another question, is it ok to be homophobic or is it bad? I wonder how I will get some answers. I think it would be more of the personal choice, but still… Confusing!!