How do people live in a country that for more than a hundred years has prohibited them by law to be themselves, to love who they want and to dress how they want? We travelled to India to meet people from the LGBTIQ community, to get to know them and to listen to them.
Until the end of 2018, a single paragraph of India’s penal code, Section 377, marked homosexual acts out as a criminal offence.
For over 150 years, “Section 377” has been part of the Indian Penal Code. The section was introduced during British colonial rule in India in 1861, and established “carnal intercourse against the order of nature” as a crime punishable by law. Homosexual acts have been criminalised for a long time since. In 2018, the Supreme Court ruled that use of the section to victimise gays and lesbians was unconstitutional. It was thereby repealed.
We visited them with the hope of better understanding this country and its contrasts. We didn’t expect the elimination of one paragraph to change the mindset of 1.3 billion people. However, it wasn’t until we spent time in Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and New Delhi that we came to understand how frequently violent assaults still occur, or how it must feel to have received official permission to love whomever and however you want and yet still have to hide this from your own family.
Find out more on the following website: https://insideindiasqueer.community
Portrait and reportage photographer (B.A.) based in Munich, Germany
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