Now Reading
London’s throwing a party to celebrate the end of India’s gay sex ban

London’s throwing a party to celebrate the end of India’s gay sex ban

LGBTI Indians and allies celebrate the end of Section 377 in Bengaluru. (Photo: Anna Isaac via Twitter)

When one of history’s biggest decisions to decriminalize homosexuality happened in India this month, people beyond the Indian subcontinent felt the repercussions.

On 6 September the Supreme Court of India ruled the scrap the colonial era Section 377 of Penal Code. That law banned ‘carnal intercourse against the order of nature’ and authorities used it to criminalize the LGBTI community.

The celebrations around India are still going, but the country’s diaspora around is also revelling in the historic decision. One of the biggest parties is happening in London next week.

Gaysians is a network of LGBT+ charities and activists supporting the South Asian community. The network has teamed up with Dishoom, a popular Bombay inspired restaurant chain. Together they will host a night of food, dance and fun to celebrate the repeal of 377.

Called 377Scrapped the night will feature performances and talks from the British Asian LGBT+ community.

‘It’s vital that Indian LGBT+ people have the opportunity to celebrate the repeal of Section 377,’ Gaysian’s CEO, Reeta Loi, told Gay Star News.

‘It has affected the views of Indians all over the world for generations.’

377 felt beyond India

Loi said the effects of 377 made a lasting impact on Indian people living in the UK and that they tend to be more conservative than other British people.
‘When our parents and grandparents left India post partition, they also left with the view that homosexuality is wrong; criminal, due to British legislation still in place,’ she said.

‘They remained connected with their culture through film and TV that had erased homosexual characters, with Indian media that had no visible, out LGBT+ people.’

As a result many British Indians did not accept their LGBTI loved ones. Loi argued that lead to entire generations that have been disowned or are still suffering.

‘This ruling tells us and them, that we are equal to our straight siblings and we deserve to live and love freely. We must mark this moment, in honour of ourselves.’

377Scrapped

The party will take place at Protein Studios in Shoreditch on 27 September.

Dishoom’s co-founder, Shamil Thakrar, said they ‘(were) overjoyed by the Supreme Court’s long-overdue decision to scrap Section 377’.

‘It’s always been massively important to us that Dishoom is a place where everyone is welcomed with warmth, and where our differences should not only be tolerated, but celebrated,’ he said.

‘(We) and had a natural urge to bring people together to celebrate! All are welcome at 377Scrapped.’

A good cause

Not only will next week’s event be a lot of fun, but all ticket proceeds will go to two organizations in India that support LGBTI people. Natco Foods will match every pound raised on the night.

Not only will the evening be a fun and informative event, but it’s an opportunity for people to help effect change in India.

‘If there is some small way you can support through a conversation with a friend that you think might like to come to the event, a retweet, or donation, then we welcome that wholeheartedly,’ Loi said.

‘We are celebrating love and connection and that’s something that every single person in the world deserves.’

377Scrapped, Protein Studios, 6pm, Thursday 27 September. Tickets are available here.

More from Gay Star News

India’s transgender population still at risk after gay sex decriminalized

India’s first gender-neutral hostel opens in Mumbai university

LGBTI people come out to their parents after India legalizes gay sex