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India Today - - FRONT PAGE - BY CHINKI SINHA

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

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