The Shabaaz-Gourav Bhosle couple doesnt think that the Delhi High Courts repealing of the controversial Section 377 of IPC will change the lives of sexual minorities in the country overnight. But,these MSMs (Men having Sex with Men) are a relieved lot; at least they will not be harassed by police now for walking hand in hand,or cross-dressing.
Life was not easy for Shabaaz (22) and Gourav (19),now working with NGO Udaan,ever since they identified their sexual orientation. I was sexually abused by my seniors in school. I couldnt have told anything to my parents as they thought that I had already brought bad name for the family. I was beaten up on several occasions by my father and brother for behaving weirdly, says Gourav.
Not just school,workplace also proved a hell for them. The harassment at workplace forced me to quit my earlier job. Even now,when I go out for counselling,police accuse me of canvassing people into prostitution and harass us if we cross-dress. Police question us even if we walk hand in hand, says Shabaaz.
Life turned a nightmare after they disclosed their relationship to their families. My father beat me several times and I had to leave home. I was isolated by my friends and my mannerisms were taken for wanted behaviour, says Shabaaz. Both are now staying together at Rasta Peth.
Gourav too has similar experiences to share. My parents felt I am doing a sin. When I told them about the relationship,they couldnt take it and I had to leave home.
They feel the repealing of the Section is a stepping stone towards their social acceptance. At least people are now aware of homosexuality. All this while,we were seen like untouchables or paedophiles, says Shabaaz.
The couple is planning to marry soon.