ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Is the Gay Community the Neo-marginalised of Modern Society?

An examination of the sexual identity of gays through the prism of mainstream homophobic culture reveals that they are the nouveau-marginalised section of contemporary Indian society. Despite their diverse experiences the stigma is blatantly similar between homosexuals and other discriminated groups, both of whom are prejudged on the basis of their identities and are impeded from standardised interactions with mainstream society as they are made out to be “perverse” and impure.

Given the intensity of anti-gay reactions and consequent stigmatisation of homosexuals, we feel it is appropriate to refer to them as the “neo-marginalised” of the modern world. Here, we are not using neo-marginalised as a term of any great precision, such that we can rigorously and objectively assign some people to this category while excluding others. Instead, it is highly evocative of the condition of the people that we seek to write about. Homosexuals or gays, as they are colloquially known because of an established propaganda, are treated as a most degraded lot who could be considered physically, morally, socially, economically, medically, and legally untouchable. The agony of these so-called neo-marginalised is the result of both disguised and manifest attempts to reinforce the institution of untouchability on gays by heterosexual bigots. In classical times and even now, powerlessness is the attribute which defines them. They have and continue to experience the extremes of stigma.

However, it is not plausible to argue that these neo-marginalised do not resist the schemes that have come to define their conditions. Unlike in the past, homosexual individuals are now refusing to live by the generalised standards and norms of heteronormative society and are reluctant of being confined to a secluded space in mainstream culture. They assert their sexual identity with a touted preference to live a life of their choice. A definite transition is taking place. From being assigned mental disorders and sexual perversion, homosexuality has come a long way to becoming what it is today—a major issue of human rights violation. This article aims to explore how and why the stigmatisation of gays by mainstream sexual identity is a definite reflection of how the dominant narrative attempts to invisibilise the “deviant” population.

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