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India's first lesbian ad 'The Visit': It's time to revisit some Uncommon Truth!
Frankly speaking I was not the one among those first three million You Tube visitors who watched India's first Lesbian ad "The Visit" and made it viral on social networking sites. The ad has been produced by an apparel company Anouk for their ethnic wear collection with a punch line "Bold Is Beautiful".
I did not hit the ad not because I wasn't aware of it but it was because I have always been skeptic and a bit of "we turn a blind eye" kind about this issue. In fact, I must confess, had a friend not asked me to explore this topic and form an opinion over it I wouldn't have writing on it also.

In the ad two women are shown in a live-in relationship flirting and dressing up for the day, discussing about the prospect of their love for each other. The "unconventional" ad has gone viral more because of its ease to represent lesbian (homosexuals) people. It does not try to make homosexuality look different.

Like any other live-in partners, the two contemporary looking lovely ladies were seen anxious towards the visit to their parents. Their apprehensions and uneasiness about pronouncing the truth of their relationship to them and finally the resolve to take that bold step to be with each other. As I saw the ad, honestly I didn't feel anything unusual about it!

However, to me issues related to homosexuality (gay or lesbian) have always been a mental taboo. Even I never got attracted to the transgender issues as well. So hardly I read anything other than for the sake of getting some General Knowledge when LGBT law issue was hitting headlines last year. Even Manavi Bandhopadhaya couldn't reach out to "that forbidden area" of my mind …though as a human I appreciated her success. One can say…I was quite indifferent if not insensitive to these humans and their problems and struggles.

As I stepped (bit unwillingly) into the world of LGBT, I was stunned to discover the reality.

Homosexuality - how uncommon you may say - is a truth that existed on earth from time immemorial. Even there is proof of lesbianism in our Hindu culture. "Ashtabakra - the man who had soft bones due to absence of male sperms" was believed to be the product when seven goddesses alleviate their sex hunger among themselves. Shrikhandi was also a living example of homosexuality. One can find enough evidences of lesbianism or gay sex in the rock paintings of Ajantas and Eloras.

As any other living being, humans have the natural urge for sex that is vital for the mental balance. Homosexuals are mainly because of two reasons. …A gene defect or a forced situation. In case of lesbians the forced situation was such as polygamy. Earlier kings used to have many queens. As the kings were unable to attend them all, queens were forced to become lesbians to quench their natural urge. Similarly gay sex existed in security forces, jails and delayed marriages. These are unconventional but hard truths.

To some extent lesbians were accepted by Indian culture although not openly as it was not that hurting to the male ego. Moreover a factor of curiosity "to know more" is always attached to it. Maybe that's the reason why Deepa Mehta's movie "Fire" starring Shabana Azmi and Nadita Das was a big hit.

It is really appalling that our society and culture never accepted these individuals as natural humans. Some culture treated them as unnatural while others considered them as diseased. And the bizarre thing is the homosexual persons were treated with something called "Rape Therapy" mostly at home to change their sexual orientation. How terrible it is!

Further, they struggled in the society to have an employment to support them, to find an accommodation and get accepted in social gatherings or functions etc while fighting with the perennial problem of hate and suspicious glances of people.

I really feel that it is very important to have more of such ads or short films or movies on LGBT community, because it validates their existence and identity in the society. Sometimes it feels as if their reality has been edited out from the human history to propagate a culture of narrow vision.

For example we never have a story of lesbian or gay freedom fighter. Why? Didn't they exist? Or never recorded or edited out? Why their achievements (I don't feel that there are no achievements) were never made a part of our collective memory?

The point is homosexuals are perfect human beings just having a different orientation for their natural urge. It is insanely inhuman to look through the spectacles of that social taboo on them. Every individual should have a legitimate choice as far as his/her sexual urge is concerned. Whether it is moral or immoral should be left to one's own wisdom.

Ads, movies or books may not prompt tangible policy change (too often, they can veil or unveil real abuses). Less interesting than the ad's production is an audience's response to it. Three million hits for "The Visit" mean something and something really good.

We must understand that our opinion about them is not their reality but our opinion definitely matters a lot to their reality…I feel.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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