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INTIMATE PORTRAITS OF LGBTQ PEOPLE, HOW THE LANDMARK 377 JUDGMENT CHANGES THEIR LIVES AND WHY THE WAR AGAINST REGRESSIVE SEXUAL MORES IS FAR FROM OVER
Striking down the 158-year-old law, Justice R.F. Nariman quoted from a poem by Lord Alfred ‘Bosie’ Douglas, Oscar Wilde’s lover. From
Two Loves, he picked the last line: “I am the love that dare not speak its name.” Over endless cups of tea and in phone calls from across the country, gay people told us stories of their once-forbidden love. Of their loneliness, estrangement and invisibility in popular culture—and in their everyday life. They spoke of the trauma, the fear and the persecution. For all the people of privilege, the Suneet Varmas and Ayesha Soods of these intimate portraits, who grew up in families that accepted their sexuality, and for whom Section 377 was a “sad fact” that didn’t really cast a shadow on their lives, there are also thousands like Davinder Rajput, 27, from Jalandhar, who was ostracised, even beaten up daily, for being gay. But it doesn’t always have to be that way. The two couples featured here speak of their committed love for each other, the single gay man in a big city about his search for companionship and the rustic hunk of his grit in walking his own path to be with his lover. Maybe these stories of hope and courage and love will make it all a little more socially legit. Because, as the court said, love is love.
Fashion designer Suneet Varma (R) with his partner Rahul Arora