GIRLS WHO LIKE GIRLS
(BTW, there’s evidence that women’s sexuality spans the spectrum more than men’s does). From speaking up against the Indian government’s recent ruling making homosexuality illegal, to debunking common lesbian myths and answering our gay readers’ most pres
When chapter XVI, Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code was brought back to life on December 11, 2013, it effectively criminalised sexual activities “against the order of nature”, including homosexuality. This was a drastic blow to the LGBT rights movement, and our constitutional rights as Indian citizens.
Sonali Roy tells us she was shocked and angry. “All our fights for the last 10 years had gone back to square one. But this setback has only helped us gear up to fight with greater momentum.” Sonali and her partner Alka live together in Kolkata, with Alka’s 17-year-old son.
Labelled a ‘miniscule minority’ by the government, lesbians around the country are preparing for a long and hard fight to have the Parliament repeal this ruling.
Noor Enayat, a Delhi-based PR professional, and out-and-proud lesbian, is at the forefront in the fight for equality, constantly organising rallies, petitions, and even going on national television to speak her mind. She asks, “Who the hell is society to decide who I can love and who I cannot? How would you feel if one day the very existence of your identity is criminalised?”
Cosmo believes in, and supports, equal rights for all and freedom of expression, especially for women, which is why we’ve put together this important and informative story, starring real girls!
We asked six brave (and totally gorgeous!) ladies to be a part of our ‘lesbian life panel’ and tell it like it is.
You can be part of the change by pledging your support on the Facebook pages: Voices Against 377 and 1 Million Indians Support LGBT Rights.
BUT WHICH ONE OF YOU IS THE MAN? ... AND OTHER LESBIAN MYTHS, DEBUNKED
Myth#1: Butch lesbians just want to be like men.
“Let us clarify—us butches do not want to be men, we just look better than them in their clothes! Actually, there are a lot of psychological aspects to be considered here. Sexuality is so fluid that one cannot put a margin anywhere, there are certain grey areas. And again, ‘being a man’ is socially understood on the basis of some physiological and psychological traits that are complete gender stereotypes.” —Sonali and Alka
Myth#2: Lesbians know everything about lesbians.
Do all straight people know everything about being straight? There are some things that are natural and some things that you learn over time.”
Myth#3: In a lesbian relationship, one woman is ‘the man’.
“This is another uneducated assumption. At the end of the day, it all comes down to your choices and preferences. For example, I really like the colour pink, but at the same time I am super protective about my girlfriend—what category do I fit into then?
Myth#4: All lesbians
“OMG! Don’t even try to mention men in front of us. We hate them, and given the chance we’d like to chop several heads off! On a more serious note, no! Lesbians do not hate men. It’s just that we don’t want any sexual or romantic connection with them. Do heterosexual men hate other men?”
—Sree and Suchandra
One Lesbian ‘Myth’ That is True! All lesbians stay emotionally involved with their ex-girlfriends.
“Yes, and that’s because we’re women. We don’t just end things and forget everything. It’s a woman thing.”
—Noor Enayat “Oh yes! Interestingly, unlike heterosexual people who can probably forget about their partners the very day they break up or soon after, we take longer, and will probably stay connected.” —Sree and Suchandra “I told my father when I was 12, he hugged me and said I was too young to make the choice at point of time. He asked me to wait for another 10 to 15 years and then take the call. “At that point, if this is what you want, we
will accept it, but now is not the time.”
—Sree Mukherjee “I came out to my mom when I was 19. I remember telling her, ‘Ma, I like girls the way boys like them’. She acted cool, but gave me conditions. I could stay the way I was, but I shouldn’t get involved in any committed relationships.”
—Sonali Roy “I told my parents I was bisexual when I was 17 or 18. I believed I was bisexual at the time because that was much easier to accept about myself. Then, by the time I turned 21, I realised I was gay, and slowly with time, that’s what I maintained.”
—Noor Enayat “My sister was always aware of my sexuality. And it didn’t make any difference to our relationship. My father got to know through a colleague who had figured out through one of my interviews. He accepted the way it was. Luckily, my life has never been about ugly confrontations and acceptance speeches regarding my sexuality. And my friends are chilled, too.”
SREE AND SUCHANDRA THEY’RE A REAL COUPLE WE LOVE. SREE IS A REAL-ESTATE MARKETING PROFESSIONAL AND SUCHANDRA IS A PHOTOGRAPHER
( SUCHANDRAGRAPHY.COM). THEY LIVE TOGETHER