Despite democracy's best efforts, sometimes the law of the land does not accurately reflect the people's attitudes on certain issues. According to 25-year-old Justine Mellocastro, who is bisexual, that's exactly what's happening in India. "It's mostly the government, I think, that has an issue with homosexuality," she said in a moving video about how she came out to her friends and family.
Created by 101 India, a youth portal that tells the stories of India's various cultures, the video shows the 25-year-old Mumbai freelance hairstylist and fashion entrepreneur talking about her relationship with her then-girlfriend and business partner, and how her mother found out.
"My girlfriend at the time saved her number on my phone as 'My beloved wife'," Mellocastro recalled. "And just as I was showing [her mother] a picture, my phone rang and it was her, and she saw it on the screen. And I decided I was just going to tell her."
Mellocastro's mom initially struggled with her daughter's sexuality.
But she finally came around.
The LGBT community in India is currently at a crossroads as they wait for the Supreme Court's decision on whether to uphold a colonial-era law that criminalizes homosexuality. Mellocastro's story and her loved ones' acceptance points to India's evolving views on people who are LGBT.
"Through these and other stories about and around the community, we want to engage people and encourage them to see the human side of us all and hope in the long run that we will be able to garner enough public support to repeal [the homosexuality ban]," Cyrus Oshidar, Chief Creative Officer at 101 India, told A Plus. "These are simple human stories hoping to overcome prejudice and misunderstanding about LGBTQ issues and push forward more dialogue that leads to change."