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IDENTITY AND ACCEPTANCE IN INDIA By Denvour Dcruz a fine art student in Mumbai.

Living in a country that has a rich cultural heritage and a past that spans to the beginnings of civilization gives one opportunity to explore the true depths of history, more so it allows for one to explore themselves, their history and where they fit in a population of one billion.

Finding our identity becomes key in understanding and making decisions about our portrayal towards the larger collective of society.

Identity has always been a human dilemma, finding what we stand for and against, exploring ourselves and finding exactly what makes us human.

Gender and sexuality have always been at the forefront of one’s identity and how we portray ourselves in society.

Using both of these tools, it is possible to truly understand ourselves, how we want to be viewed and identified, mixing and matching these tools to create our own personal and unique identity ?!

LGBTQIA+ have always been at the forefront of identity, separating from the norm, daring to be authentic to their identity, and living thoroughly as themselves. This being said in a society based from and on oppression even expressing one’s own identity becomes a privilege, an opportunity that not a lot of people especially in backward countries don’t get as often as the west.

India has always been a proud country, of its rich heritage, its history and culture, the vast diversity that is encompassed within her boundaries, we have majorly progressed in our technological and scientific knowledge, surpassed expectations in academia and schooling institutions but as a society we have discouraged progress in changing the mindset of people, of being more open and accepting towards even our fellow Indians based on race, caste, color, origins, sexuality, gender, that basically boils down to one’s identity.

India has one of the largest youth population in the world, we have an entire workforce of people ready to take the country to reach new heights, yet we face a major problem in the country, only thirty percent of the population of the country are truly supportive of the LGBTQIA+  community and within that narrative only 24 percent of the youth are accepting of the community according to a 2016 research conducted within India.

There have been multiple cases of harassment, abuse, lynching of various members of the LGBTQIA+ members and discrimination still persists within the country. There has been a huge boost of the community in India bringing this issue to light with the IPC Section 377 being reinstated and recently being edited to exclude same-sex relationships which give some hope towards the future of this community but still India has a long way to go till it starts viewing identity as a human right rather than it being a privilege.

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