This is a guest post by Diwas Raja Kc and Alston D’Silva
On the 18th of April this year, Dr. Priya Vedi of AIIMS tragically ended her life and left a Facebook note incriminating her husband—fellow doctor at AIIMS Dr. Kamal Vedi—for “torturing” her mentally, clearly implying that his homosexuality was the reason for her suicide. Her distress is apparent in the note as she recounts the lack of intimacy in her marriage and her discovery of the husband’s sexual activities as a gay man before and during the marriage. At the end she includes a plea to all gay men to not “marry to a girl to save yourself,” to not play with the emotions of a girl and her family. It should not be surprising that some condolent commentators have placed the blame specifically on Kamal Vedi’s alleged sexual orientation, even calling for legal action. Even within the LGBT community, the tendency has been to first put culpability on the man’s opportunistic participation in the institution of marriage. There is a sense that this incident ought to serve as a teaching moment for gay men, who are argued to require an ethical code, who need to fixate on the deliverance of their conscience, and whose rights—as Sandip Roy pointed out—”mean nothing without responsibility.” But despite Priya Vedi’s strongly felt sentiments, must we proceed as if the case of her fatal end is a logical and natural consequence of gay men’s irresponsible intrusions into the sanctum of marriage? After all, such intrusions are routine, and the ensuing heartbreaks are sometimes even known to be productive of powerful empathy between straight women and gay men.