A+| A| A-

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.

To read the full text Login

Get instant access

New 3 Month Subscription
to Digital Archives at

₹826for India

$50for overseas users

Comments

(-) Hide

EPW looks forward to your comments. Please note that comments are moderated as per our comments policy. They may take some time to appear. A comment, if suitable, may be selected for publication in the Letters pages of EPW.

Investment in research or in scientific activity is ultimately a community decision, supported by public funds. Scientists, therefore, have the...

Empirical data from the last two-and-a-half decades tells stories of upper-caste hegemony and lack of lower-caste representation in Indian media....

In recent times, the right to speech, expression and the right to protest have been constantly undermined. An attack on these rights runs contrary...

This article argues in favour of dismantling the Industrial Disputes Act. For several decades now, the provisions in the IDA have been the leading...

The presence of status quo bias and information asymmetry in the market of menstrual products as deterrents for urban, educated menstruating women...

This article raises wider questions like whether the social sciences have been able to provide any meaning to the Covid-19 crisis by exploring the...

As a signatory to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, India is committed to ensure equal access to all levels of education and vocational...

There is a tendency to view the threat to judicial independence in India as emerging from the executive branch, and occasionally the legislature....

COVID-19 and the resultant lockdowns have severely curtailed the mobility of persons with disabilities, restricted their ability to seek basic...

The extraordinary nature of the crisis faced by the Congress means that the revival of the party is necessarily predicated upon its renewal. This...

Back to Top