The Department of Social Work of the University of Gothenburg has conducted a study to examine how LGBTQ activists in Mumbai perceive the changes in section 377 and what they describe as main factors affecting the living conditions of LGBTQ individuals in the Indian society.
The study indicated a difference in the number of people coming out and choosing to be visible after the reading down of Section 377. The law criminalising homosexual acts, known as Section 377, was read down in 2009 only to be reinstated in 2013.
After the reinstatement in 2013, people who had come out did not choose to return to the closet, but rather they spoke up with an awareness that their openness could lead to more people leaving the closet, thus furthering discussions in society on who has the power to decide what is “normal”.
The opportunities that globalisation has offered to young people on their way between college and home are tremendous. Due to a workplace in which one can remain anonymous, young LGBTQ individuals have been able to flourish in terms of identity through economic and social independence, the study says.
The study also states that subgroups within the LGBTQ movement seem to interfere in each other’s struggle to obtain more rights and greater acceptance by conforming to the very power structures that subordinate divergent groups of people due to their sexuality or gender identity.