I study at a central university in South India, which has long been considered to be a very liberal campus- there’s no dress code or curfew, no moral policing, and most of the professors treat us more like their friends than their subordinates.
As our freshers’ party approaches, we have a series of events lined up, one of which is going to class dressed in drag for a day.
Boys In Saris, Girls In Lungis
This is a tradition on campus that is taken in good spirit by the students. It’s optional, of course, but many are seen borrowing clothes from their friends of the opposite sex, and taking plenty of pictures in their outfits.
Even the professors take the appearance of the students in good spirit, and nobody (to my knowledge) has ever made any homophobic or insensitive comments.
A Homophobia-Free Campus
Our campus is considered to be a safe space for students to express their true sexuality. Members of the LGBTQ+ community have the freedom to be their true selves, without fear of any sort of backlash. To put it in very millennial terms, you could say we are “woke.”
Why This Is Important
In an age where cows > human rights and the Supreme Court plays cat-on-the-fence with regard to Section 377 (whether or not to decriminalise homosexuality), I feel that this little step taken by my university is an extremely progressive one.
A campus is a sample of the “real world”- a place where one broadens their horizons after the relatively guarded atmosphere of a school, and meets different kinds of people from all over the country, and sometimes other countries, too.
The years of your college education play a major role in shaping your beliefs and character, which is why it’s important to provide students with an open and liberal environment that shows them that certain things they must have previously viewed as “taboo” are actually quite normal.
How It Shapes A Student’s Outlook
Fresh out of school, students are highly impressionable, and tend to absorb what is thrown at them by their new environment like a sponge.
So, by normalising homosexuality, feminism, and so on, and showing these as basic rights rather than philosophies that go against the so-called “natural order,” you create a generation of students who are more accepting, less judgemental, and more aware of the diversity of the world, and the rights each human being possesses.
Image Credits: Google Images