When I set out to meet Samarpan Maiti, who is quite the celebrity now having bagged the second runner-up prize at Mr. Gay World 2018 held in South Africa, I quite expected to meet a ‘star’.
Our understanding of gender and sexuality is built upon growing up in a family and watching other families around us
There have certainly been spaces for LGBTQ+ community to come together and celebrate, but being South Asia’s biggest queer film festival Kashish has been one of those important places.
Born as an intersex person, Khejdi is brought up by her father behind concrete walls and closed doors. To keep her from being seen and slaughtered by the villagers, she is told that if she steps outside she'll catch a dangerous disease.
With a sizeable list of 145 films from 45 countries, the opening ceremony of Kashish felt like a gush of wind strong enough to pull closet doors open.
The media coverage of this incident has been cruel, to say the least, towards the queer community.