A gay couple in India is getting mass attention for their love. And now, the couple are being referred to as the first “married” gay couple in the state of Kerala.
On July 4, 2018, Businessman Nikesh Usha Pushkaran and tech expert Sonu MS, who met on a dating app, held a secret ring exchange ceremony at a temple in Kerala. Though not legally recognized, the moment was meant to signify their love and bond. And now, the rest of the world is basking in that love.
The couple came out to close friends and family before coming out to the public on June 29, 2019. After the duo came out through a Facebook post, they received a rush of warm wishes and support.
“Sonu turned a little apprehensive before leaving for workplace, he was tensed. I boosted his confidence saying that a class of educated and sensible people would react well. To his surprise, they greeted him with hugs and handshakes. He returned happily from work,” said Nikesh to News18.
“Before we made it public, our families had accepted our relation. Yet, they were not convinced about saying it out loud. That is a unanimous decision Sonu and I have taken together to make the world a better place for people of our kind. We know many gay, lesbian couples who keep things hush-hush, fearing what others would say. They stay together in rented places. For the outside world, they are just friends,” he then added.
Despite homosexuality and gay sex now being legal thanks to India’s Supreme Court stating that the colonial-era law Section 377 was unconstitutional, the country’s society is still coming around to the idea of openly LGBT people walking among them. In addition, the country is still without many laws protecting LGBTQ or offering rights and services to them like same-sex marriage.
Despite that, there are many couples like Sonu and Nikesh who have announced their love and commitment to each other. And it’s couples like these that present more examples of LGBTQ life in India than ever before.
“We don’t find ourselves or the straight couple any different,” noted Nikesh. “One advantage we have is treating each other equal. A dominating partner is absent. Even preparing a meal is not a must. Since I spend a lot of time online, there are days we prefer ordering home cooked food from outside.”
We hope to see more couples like Sonu and Nikesh getting a spotlight for sharing their love and lives.