In 2018, a Hong-Kong based LGBT Foundation released a report that mentioned that if the global LGBT community formed a country, it would be the fourth largest country in the world with a GDP of $4 Trillion. The yellow pages of history had recorded the struggles of the community since times immemorial.
However, decriminalising gay sex by the Supreme Court and individual progressive measures of several state governments has helped the community let go of specific past fears. Progressive policies of states like Kerala and Tamil Nadu leave a lot to learn for other states.
Kerala And Its Progressive Approach
In January 2021, the Left-Front Government in Kerala decided to include the transgender option in all gender applications for a more inclusive approach towards the marginalised community. The State Health Minister KK Shailja had approved the third gender options for all applications of the Kerala government. After the landmark judgement by the Supreme Court in 2014, Kerala became the first state to roll out a Transgender Policy to ensure a firm implementation of the Right to Equality for the Transgender persons of the state.
Falling in line with the judgement, the policy allowed a person to self-identify themselves as transgender. The state also set up a District-level Transgender Board that could register or issue identification cards.
Tamil Nadu's Anti Conversion Ban
A lesbian couple had fled their homes in Tamil Nadu's Madurai when their parents disapproved of their relationship. The Police harassed the NGO members who sheltered them. To this, the Madras High Court had said that a specialist should offer to counsel the same-sex couple's parents. Following this judgement, Tamil Nadu became the first Indian state to ban conversion therapy. The state had also recently launched a 'Best Third Gender Award' to recognise the contribution of the community members to society.
The World Values Survey showed that Indians who believed 'homosexuality is never justifiable' fell from 80 per cent to 24 per cent from 1990 to 2014. In 1991, a question that 'whom do you not want as neighbours?', 'homosexuals' as an answer received 91 per cent votes, whereas, in 2014, the same answer had about 42 per cent votes only. Such surveys result from growing awareness amongst people and progressive approaches of the state governments and the judiciary.