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Orlando shooting case: LGBT activist says his friends often ask him, ‘Why do they hate us?’

A prayer meet will be held on June 21at SM Joshi Hall to pay homage to victims.

Written by Anuradha Mascarenhas | Pune |
June 15, 2016 4:31:21 am
LGBT, Orlando shooting, Orlando, LGBT pune, lgbt activist, lgbt activist pune, lgbt community pune, Humsafar trust, Ashok Row Kavi A memorial service was held in Bengaluru on Tuesday. (Source: Reuters)

“We are the vile planetary minority that everyone loves to hate,” the country’s prominent LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) activist Ashok Row Kavi told The Indian Express while condemning the mass shooting incident at a gay club in Orlando.

The founder chairperson of Humsafar trust – an LGBT rights and health services NGO that works for legal emancipation of homosexuals in the country – said that the Orlando massacre was only a high note in a series of events that seems to be showing a new global trend – ‘mainstream societies showing a hatred towards homosexuals’.

Kavi, who has shared his views on First Post, said that his friends often ask him ‘Why do they hate us so much?’.

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“It’s not just about Orlando killings. There have been other instances worldwide like in France where one of the biggest rallies was taken out against reforming laws to allow same-sex marriage. Yes, Orlando is a wake-up call for LGBT across the world to organise rallies locally but think globally too,” said Kavi.

In Pune , Bindumadhav Khire, LGBT activist and author, said that the community is likely to be targeted in India if the government does not stand by sexual minorities. “We will meet on June 21 at SM Joshi hall to pay homage to 50 people who died in the Orlando gay club shooting incident. The government has to send a strong message that it will not tolerate violence against sexual minorities by scrapping Section 377 of the IPC, he said.

Souvik Ghosh – an IT professional and LGBT activist – referred to Orlando killings as a horrific incident that should be condemned. This is the worst kind of homophobia — and shows what limits people can go to owing to their hatred towards gays. “We face an uphill task — much like a freedom struggle —so that the society understands us and our sexual preferences,” he said. “As such, I have disclosed my gay status and I can walk in any pub or restaurant with no fear. That is only because the gay community is not visible to the public. A majority of us are yet to come out of the closet,” he pointed out.

For Omkar Joshi , a student of Master of Arts and who has disclosed his gay status, the killings may have happened in Orlando but the entire community is in shock.

“Will we ever be accepted. It is a long battle ahead,” he said.

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