A year ago, the Supreme Court scrapped section 377 of the Indian Penal Code and decriminalized same-sex relationships.
Accordingly, many people of the LGBTQ community were empowered to fight for their rights. Ever since then, many people right from sportsperson to lawyers among others have come out about their sexuality without fear of persecution. Many have also tied the knot with same-sex partners.
One such couple, Nikesh Usha Pushkaran and Sonu MS, exchanged rings and took nuptial vows at Kerala’s Guruvayur Sri Krishna Temple just a couple of months after the same-sex relationship was legalized. They, however, chose to keep it under wraps. They finally shared the news of their marriage on Facebook a year later.
“It was a unanimous decision taken by me and Sonu. “We thought it will be an inspiration for the many people who are still scared to come out and tell the world about their identity,” Nikesh said.
The duo has also become the first and only openly married gay couple in Kerala, reports News 18.
Nikesh also shared that he was earlier in a 14-year long relationship with someone but it did not work out as his partner feared coming out. Following his break up, Nikesh suffered from depression for two years. He used to pack his back and travel to Bengaluru and Tiruvananthapuram frequently with a hope of finding the right person for him in the course of his travels.
29-year-old Sonu too has had his own struggles in life. He had a hard time coming out to his parents about his sexuality and they were shocked to say the least and began looking for a bride for him until a doctor convinced them that being gay wasn’t a choice. 35-year-old Nikesh runs a business in Kerala while Sonu works at an IT firm.
Nikesh said that people from the LGBTQ community don’t have the luxury to look for the right match on matrimonial websites.
“I came to know about the gay dating application after my association with queer groups Queerala and Queerythm, two prominent LGBTQI support groups in the state,” he said.
“Soon after I made a profile at the dating app I got a message from Sonu. Sonu was exactly the type of partner I was looking for. We started chatting. Two days after we met, we went on a date at a restaurant in Kochi. That’s how it started,” he shared.
“Once I revealed my identity, my mom was a bit apprehensive about how society will react to it. She even asked whether I need to shift to United States or Europe where people will accept me the way I am and I can get married to the person I wanted to,” Nikesh revealed.
“We visited the temple in Guruvayoor after taking shower and held prayers. Then we came outside and exchanged rings in the temple complex. Since the place was so crowded nobody noticed us. Then we exchanged the Tulsi garlands in the place where our car was parked,” Nikesh recalled.
But getting married wasn’t the only milestone they wished to achieve. Sonu and Nikesh want to have a happy family, like that of any married couple.
“Our fight will continue until we get the equal rights as everyone to get married and adopt kids,” Nikesh said.
A Chennai-based LGBTQI organization is also planning to file an appeal in the Supreme Court to help gay couples have equal rights to adopt children after marriage.
“As family we are facing a lot of problems, we can’t call us married while filling forms for bank accounts and bank accounts, and we have to fill our names in the columns as ‘single’ even though we’re married.” The duo wants to adopt a child abandoned by his or her parents. “The child can get two fathers instead,” Nikesh said.
As soon as the duo announced their wedding on Facebook, they received support and best wishes from friends and colleagues. “Coming generations will get the fruit of our sufferings,” Nikesh added.
We hope that couples like Sonu and Nikesh soon have the right to adopt a child. Kudos to you both!