Section 377: We are a new, progressive India, say gay designers after SC’s verdict

The Supreme Court’s landmark verdict of decriminalizing homosexuality between consenting adults has made the entire nation revere in joy as celebrities, as well as gay fashion designers, celebrated the judgment on Thursday. Applauding the decision of axing Section 377, several designers from the fashion community, including Amit Aggarwal and Wendell Rodricks spoke to a leading daily and expressed their triumph.

Amit, while speaking to the daily, said that the September 6 verdict is as exhilarant as that of the news of India’s independence in 1947. “This news (Section 377 struck down by the Supreme Court) makes today almost as good as the midnight of August 15, 1947, when India gained Independence," Amit told the daily, adding that the fight for same sex marriage should be upheld next. "I don't want to be 80 when I can finally get legally married," he said.

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[caption id="attachment_121355" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Amit Aggarwal at LFW 2018 with Shahid Kapoor and Disha Patani[/caption]

Based in New Delhi, Amit came out to his parents when he was 30. Considering the fact that he belonged to an orthodox family, Amit said that his father accepted his preference, adding that his boyfriend resides at his parents’ residence and they embrace him as a part of their family.

"My father has stood by me through heartbreak and happiness. Today, my boyfriend stays at my parents' residence, and they [parents] welcome him as family member. I was lucky to have understanding folks."

Eminent designer Wendell Rodricks said that he was "delighted" to hear Chief Justice Dipak Misra's judgment, who commented in court, saying, "(Section 377 is) irrational, indefensible and manifestly arbitrary.”

[caption id="attachment_128913" align="aligncenter" width="700"] Wendell Rodricks[/caption]

"In one clean sweep, the judges showed the world that we are a new, progressive India," Rodricks told the daily from Goa.

Mumbai-based designer James Ferreira is equally ecstatic and said that his friends have been sending him congratulatory messages post the verdict since he will not be associated with the tag of a ‘criminal’ any longer. "Today is bittersweet. My parents accepted me four decades ago, and I wish that more parents understand. I hope to see less bigotry from society against individuals of different orientations," he said.

Designer Suneet Varma, who works out of Delhi, couldn’t control his emotions while speaking to the daily. He married his longtime partner Rahul Arora in a court in New York in 2015 while the decision of decriminalizing homosexuality in India has left him overjoyed.

[caption id="attachment_128899" align="aligncenter" width="696"] L-R: Rahul Arora and Suneet Varma[/caption]

"I was holding my breath when the verdict was about to be announced, and when it happened, I was laughing and crying all at once. To be told you are not a criminal in your own country is experiencing a different kind of freedom,” Suneet said.