CNN-IBN's report on Official Gay Association in Chennai is significant in two ways.
1. For the first time in India, gays have a chance step out of the closet and lead a normal life. Even possibly increase public awareness. Awareness about what?
- about the fact that being gay is not a choice, but a feature imprinted on ones self at birth, as this article in CBS might indicate. Its as plain as saying "Just like you are attracted towards girls, I am attracted towards guys".
For the records, I am not gay! To be honest, (at the expense and getting defensive, and inviting criticisms involving the word "hypocrite") if I know that somebody is gay, I WILL feel awkward and insecure. But the support for gay-rights is as much ingrained in me as the insecure feeling itself. An organization to protect a community marginalized for no conscious fault on its part has to be welcome.
2. The second significance is personal. Chennai is considered by many as a conservative, or worse, an intolerant city (primarily with the ancient anti-Hindi sentiments that filled the air in Tamil Nadu a decade or two ago). In all honesty, Chennai is conservative to a large extent. But, this news report clearly vindicates Chennai from the allegiance that it is intolerant. The limited media coverage has turned out to be fortunate and unfortunate at the same time. Fortunate, since the news has gained enough public image to really interest the self-styled guardians of Tamil Culture. Unfortunate, since if it had gained more national attention, it would have done its bit in bring Chennai's true image to light.
Those who disagree with me and quote the Kushbhoo episode and The Park episode as counter, please consider the fact that the "Dharna" against Khusbhoo was wholly by executed by a caste-based political party which linked her comments to Tamil Culture when Kushbhoo said nothing about it. The Park episode was a misadventure by a small time reporter looking for cheap media publicity and a thoughtless and panicky approach by the government to avoid another controversy. The general public did not participate in both the instances and, more importantly, there was no violence.