- Posted May 9, 2014 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Impact Your World
Being gay in India cost this man 60 years
Chandru Kumar, a homosexual male from India, has lived a forceful married life for over 60 years in fear of being expelled from the society. Chandru lives in a remote village of Teenkhed in India with his wife Chandrika. Chandru realized that he was a gay when he was 14. Due to the fear of rejection by the society he preferred to keep his homosexuality a secret. His parents married him to Chandrika on his 18th birthday. Chandrika, 12 then, had no clue of her husband’s sexual orientation going into her marriage.
Chandru has faced immense pressure, all his life to hide his sexual orientation and as a result of which has been living with a very low self-esteem. When Chandru tried to discuss his situation with some of the elderly trusted members of his village, they declared him mentally unwell and even went to the extent of trying to cure his homosexuality by taking him to a spiritual psychologist. Chandru has ever since gone in a shell and generally keeps to himself.
The recent Supreme Court’s ban on homosexuality in India has wiped out any remaining hopes that Chandru had to live a free life. While hiding his true identity, Chandru has agreed to share his story with us in hope that it may help in changing the society’s outlook towards the gay community and to compel the supreme court to change the law one day for a better future for the gay community in India.
After finding out that Chandru happens to be a talented singer, I and my team have encouraged him to revive his long lost hobby, and spread the message for his quest for freedom and that of so many others like him, by means of music.
In order to protect these individuals from prosecution or retaliation their names have been changed for the purposes of this article to protect their identities, as homosexuality is a punishable crime in India under Section 377 of the IPC.
Image: Couple belonging to the same village as Chandru, who provided us with insights into Chandru's early childhood.