It was 6th of September last year, the day Supreme Court struck down article 377. Decriminalising homosexuality. Ridhi (name changed) was coming back to India from Singapore just so that she could be with her partner on that day of immeasurable happiness. Ridhi called us from the airport and booked a surprise for her significant other. We all got to work the moment we received the order because it needed to be planned for the next day. And we got to work because it was different, it mattered and we were so glad to be a part their happiness.
It represented something bigger than just exchanging gifts between two consenting adults. It represented freedom and equality. The historic judgement had given some of us the freedom to buy our loved ones gifts without having to hide it or being ostracised for it.
We were overwhelmed when we got more orders to be customised especially for same-sex couples and worked a bit harder to get those gifts to their loved ones on the same day. It didn’t matter how hard we worked because happiness trumped everything.
And we wanted it to be a part of our everyday lives- acceptance, love without any conditions applied and happiness of course. Since we call ourselves the Happiness Crew from Oye Happy. We only strive to live up to the name.
The idea that we could make this a part of our company struck as we received these orders on 6th of September. To have a gift section on our website for LGBTQ community was only an idea then. From ideating a specific product for a specific section of buyers to launching the products is a long journey. We did have some hardships while putting everything in place. That was expected because we knew the nature of the project we are undertaking.
Homosexuality is legal now but it is still met with disdainful glares and unaccepting stances. We had a hard time finding models for our LGBTQ specific products. No one was ready to stand up to the stigma that is homosexuality. And then when we thought we would probably have to launch the products without representing homosexual couples in them, people like Sushant Divgikar- Mr. Gay India 2014, Onir- Independent filmmaker and Anwesh Sahoo – Mr. Gay World India 2016, helped us get the customisation done. They helped us for they believed in what we are doing. And we can’t be more thankful to everyone who has helped us begin something which is more than just profit and sales.
We finally have an LGBTQ section on our website with products customised especially for them. And here is the link if you would like to have a look. This is an area we have never trodden on before and any kind of help or suggestion from you will mean an awful lot.