The Best Coping Mechanism: Hope

We live in a democratic country where inequality and discrimination is not accepted no matter who upon. We live in a country where everyone is accepted and no one has restrictions on them.

Correction: The text written above is a lie.

Today in our country, 76% of our citizens are homophobic. Many LGBTQ+ members are sent to gay conversion camps where they are tortured and abused. Majority of them are not accepted and disowned. 95% transgender people are unable to get jobs. Protesters slander with picket signs reading unnatural, un-cultural, anti-national, anti-social, etc. After coming out, members of the LGBTQ+ community often quit their jobs, unable to resist the immense mockery and humiliation they face. Our own ruling party’s refusal to have a clear stance on the community is unjustifiable.

What is the point of Indian democracy if the people we vote into power are not working on better implementation of the anti- discriminatory laws? How disingenuous for us to keep boasting about our identity as the world’s largest democracy when we can’t count on parliamentarians to stand up against homophobia and discrimination? What is the point?

I’ll tell you, it’s because of people who try and make it better, everyday. It’s because of what they give. Their gift, hope.

Shabnam Bano, the first transgender Indian to become an MLA

Madhu Kinnar, India’s only openly transgender mayor.

Gopi Shankar Madhurai, the first openly intersex candidate

Three of the many people who give the community hope for a better future.

One that will be more accepting, one where there will be equality, no discrimination, liberty and the implemented RIGHT of loving however and whoever you want to love.

Slowly, but surely, we are taking steps forward and the coping mechanism of hope is the gift that keeps on giving. With it, section 377 was abolished. The anti discriminatory law for transgender people was set.

These small steps are what’s taking us to a brighter future. To have hope is to want an outcome that makes our lives better in some way. It not only can help make a tough present situation more bearable, but also can eventually improve our lives, because envisioning a better future motivates us to take the steps to make it happen. Surely, we are.

Dear Hope, Thank you.