(This first appeared in the Sunday Guardian)
On the second day of the seventh month of 2009, a few wise men of the Delhi High Court–who thought they knew better than everyone else–criminalised heterosexuality in India. Things were never the same again! The whole country became a haven for same gender attraction. Suddenly, men started wearing pink, shaved off all their chest hair, learned how to cook French cuisine, left their wives and moved in with their ‘business partner.’ Women started using motor oil as shampoo, wore only ill-fitting denims, stopped worrying about their weight and moved in with their ‘hostel roommate.’ The children who were left to fend for themselves were kidnapped and transported to gay and lesbian conversion camps. Here, they were taught gay and lesbian behaviour, like making extraordinarily beautiful paintings or fighting to preserve the environment.
In a few short days, yearning to mate with a member of the opposite sex became something taboo. It began to be discouraged! Heterosexual individuals brave enough to come out would find that people hitherto close to them suddenly treating them differently. Parents who found out that their children did not want to conform to the norm tried to talk some sense into them. A few of these children were even forced to go to reparative therapy to get rid of their natural desire for the opposite sex. No cure was ever found in spite of corporations and governments spending massive amounts of money on such research.
Coming out would cause heterosexual individuals to lose some of their friends too. Children who discovered that they only felt attracted to the opposite sex had to pretend to like someone of the same gender so as to not make anyone suspicious. If their peers found out, they would be mocked mercilessly. Even gay children who defied stereotypes and wanted to participate in typical heterosexual activities like having a messy room or wearing plaid shirts with corduroy pants were on the receiving end of ugly epithets usually reserved for those with opposite sex desires.
Heterosexual people were constantly reminded that they were different. Guys and girls could hold hands in public, but only as friends. If they looked like a couple, they could hear audible gasps and couldn't do anything but sigh at those head shakes of disapproval. Sometimes, private parties consisting only of heterosexuals were raided by the police and all the people attending were made to do the perp walk in front of a gleeful camera-wielding media to set an example and give a stern warning to other secret heterosexuals out there to keep to themselves. Work colleagues f heterosexual individuals would laugh behind their back and make terrible insinuations to their face. Heterosexual couples were routinely turned away from most hotels if the owner did not approve of their lifestyle choices. Straight characters in movies would be only used for comic relief. Most of their story arcs involved being the recipient of cruel jokes lobed to them by other characters. Those celebrities rumoured to be heterosexual were often the target of demeaning words from bigoted individuals. In fact, some heterosexual filmmakers had to make heterophobic movies because they were not brave enough to live the truth. Teevee programs routinely showed popular leading actors pretending to be attracted to the opposite sex for a few cheap laughs.
As the injustices piled up, some heterosexual people began to form organizations to fight for their so-called rights. They didn’t want to be a silent minority anymore! They decided that they did not want to be treated as second-class citizens in their own country. They even managed to hold rallies expressing their pride in who they were, shouting slogans, refusing to be in the shadows anymore. We’re here, we’re not queer, deal with it!
These organizations even filed various court cases to get back their rights. After a long battle, this case finally ended up in the Supreme Court. On the eleventh day of the twelfth month of this century’s thirteenth year, the prayers of millions of heterosexuals were finally answered. The Supreme Court quashed the senseless 2009 judgement and uncriminalised heterosexuality. Finally, all those oppressed heterosexuals could be free. It was like a huge boulder was lifted from their backs. No more could anyone tell them that they were deviant perverts who needed to be kept away from other members of society. No more could anyone blackmail them by threatening to reveal their sexual identify. No more could the law treat them any differently. No more would they be silenced. No more did they have to live a lie. This was India’s second tryst with destiny!
The Supreme Court upheld the highest principles of the constitution. If our founding fathers were alive today, they would be proud. This is the sort of court they envisioned. One which would not abandon a small minority of people to the tyranny of the majority. A court which would stand up to all those fake purveyors of morality.
Imagine a fourteen year old living in a small town, struggling with feelings he does not yet understand, but still aware enough that he is different. Thanks to society’s attitude towards his natural orientation, he constantly gets the message that his kind of people are not welcome in this world. People find out and mock him for being “a straight.” And then one day, after a very terrible bout of teasing, he contemplates suicide. But before he can do anything drastic, he hears about the Supreme Court judgement and stops himself. For a moment, he doesn’t feel alone. Someone understands him! It dawns on him that not everyone in the world will treat him like a pariah because of his natural human desire to love someone he is attracted to.
After all, what sort of fucked up society would allow such a thing?