Queer couples from various walks of life have made a case for the Indian government to recognize their civil union in accordance with their rights guaranteed by the Indian Constitution. On July 6, an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) and his American spouse put forth their petition to be allowed to visit their family in India aided by their status as OCI cardholders, a benefit extended to foreign spouses upon completion of 2 years of marriage. But not in the case of 'same-sex' partners? The couple is seeking answers and change.
The moment when Xtina, Brintey Spears and Madonna kissed on stage at the 2003 VMAs has been immortalized and widely-reviewed as provocative. For most of us who are not cis-men, it is evident that this kiss was largely fetishized, playing into the fantasy of the male gaze that enjoys watching women kiss for the viewer's pleasure.
The Karnataka government has now proposed to reserve 1% of all its jobs for the transgender community. The reservation will be in each category, i.e., general, SC, ST, and each of the OBC quotas, according to a draft notification released on May 13, 2021.
In 2021, Valentino Vecchietti (she/they) of Intersex Equality Rights, UK, added a yellow triangle with a purple circle on it, to the corner to represent the interests of the intersex community as part of Pride.
When our ancestors weren't ravaged by the vastly-ignored AIDS pandemic or persecuted by political and religious institutions alike, we were abandoned by all systems of care (families, friends, you name it). Even the process of making therapy queer-affirming has only just begun and it still leaves a vast chunk of the population out, in terms of accessibility. We have been fighting to be seen, heard, acknowledged and represented despite our disabilities, performative 'politically correct' allies, and a looming threat to our very lives - if not at the hands of our debilitating mental illnesses or police brutality, then by self-proclaimed vigilantes claiming to protect their children from us.
In this case of S. Sushama & another vs. Commissioner of Police & others, the Court said that social acceptance and sensitization is a crucial step to protecting the lives and dignity of queer folx and their relationships as well as communities.
So, when I read Maulik Pancholy’s The Best At It (full disclosure: sent to me by the Indian team at Harper Collins), it transported me back to a time when I was about the same age as the protagonist, Rahul. A lot of Rahul’s experiences seem to indicate quintessential ‘brown’ diaspora and queer culture (and the intersection of the two).
A recent study published in PLOS medicine pointed towards how social support has positive health outcomes for people with various ailments (including heart ailments, inflammatory diseases), increasing their possibility of survival by 20-29%. By denying us to commune with those whom we identify as our chosen families, the State effectively denies us access to health in more ways than one.
Amidst this pandemic wherein people seem to be dropping dead around us, wherein the vaccine is rationed out based on your access to state-sanctioned identity and smartphone apps, an initiative allowing trans folx to travel by bus for free, alongside cis-women, simply feels too little too late, and frankly, quite out of place.
So, I turned to an artform, a science, a philosophy to help me understand the language of people who won’t explain themselves to me. Obviously, I turned to astrology. Jokes apart, alongside my aro-ace peers, astrology introduced me to a new language to name different parts of the self.
The government's stubborn adherence to the gender binary is befuddling (to say the least), but is quite aligned with its larger brand of transphobic legislations. However, its appeal raises another question as to why it has not created a separate wing for trans-folx when it was directed to do so by a Supreme Court verdict in 2014?
This move reminds us of the defence recently given by the Indian National government to the Delhi HC against legalizing queer marriages in India.
Being cognizant of our intimacy needs and how we are comfortable expressing our intimacy can make our relationships smoother. However, along with our needs, we also have privileges associated with our sexuality. Our needs and privilege are constantly intersecting and providing us with a framework that we are living with. Understanding these can provide us with insights of where we draw our strengths.
Coupled with the recent case in the Delhi High Court that sought to dissolve a marriage that a lesbian woman was forced into, while giving her protection from any backlash from her family, this is a potential watershed moment for how queer folx are treated in the eyes of the law in the country.
As Nas’ soul ascends towards the sky, the clouds above part to reveal a bright light and an angel. However, Nas chooses to hold onto a pole emerging from below, poledancing through their descent into Hell.
Here’s a quick guide to 6 basic buys for those of you with vulvas, or with partners who have one.
After a touch-starved year of physical distancing, a cuddle puddle with a trusty, close group of friends & partners is exactly the kind of meet-up we could all do with.
The fact of the matter remains that India has consistently denied the rights of several communities over the 7-odd decades that it has called itself independent. The caste system, racism, colourism, and cis-heteronormativity dictates our success in public lives as well as in accessing our basic human rights.
Fast forward to now, I have watched most seasons of Selling Sunset, after which I watched the first season of Housewives of Beverly Hills. Bear with me as I express surprise at the barrage of misogyny that they were. Confused as to why we were documenting and consuming these specific people’s lives on-screen, I looked up the early cast of Housewives of Beverly Hills.
Oddly, neither my therapist’s worksheets nor her sessions ever helped me understand my sexuality. It was an elephant in the room, one that I could neither name nor recognize, thanks to unspoken, yet pervasive heteronormativity and misogyny.