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Ostracised for fighting for LGBT rights, says actress Celina Jaitly

Ostracised for fighting for LGBT rights, says actress Celina Jaitly

Bollywood actress calls decriminalisation of homosexuality a historic judgement

New Delhi: Actress Celina Jaitly, who has always spoken up for the rights of LGBTs (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender), says she was ostracised by her colleagues, friends and family for her stance but it did not deter her.

An ecstatic Celina, 36, called it a historic judgement by the Supreme Court, which on Thursday decriminalised homosexuality between consulting adults by declaring Section 377, the penal provision which criminalised gay sex as “manifestly arbitrary”

Hailing the verdict, Celina told IANS in a message: “I waited every single day for last 15 years of my life as an LGBT activist, with great hope and optimism and it’s finally happened, I, as a true patriot, always had one principle and that being: I do not accept discrimination should be preserved as a tradition, or that violence should be treasured as a part of any culture.”

The actress, a United Nations equality champion who promotes its Free and Equal campaign, says she cannot imagine what her LGBT fellow citizens have felt all these years being “victims of an archaic system, the immense ostracism and criticism I faced as a straight ally and LGBT activist is not even a patch on it.

“I was ostracised by colleagues, friends and family too, for fighting for LGBT rights. It did not deter me but kept me going, for I knew there were millions going on without a right to life, without dignity, without being able to breathe freely and without feeling safe.

“Today is a historic day: our apex courts have given dignity to millions within our country, What a judgement! “

The former Miss India (2001) says the struggle for equal rights for many has paid off.

“Today, history is made. Millions will breath the first breath of freedom. Our apex courts have changed the course of regressive thinking to a progressive one with today’s decision. I am so happy that the years many struggled for will come to an end and my children will have the opportunity to belong to a country which caters to its each and every one of its citizens,” said Celina.

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