Walking Through THAT Book Aisle

Shobhna Kumar from “Queer Reads” tells us all about it here [Link]

Ok peeps, Now I know you are wondering what this title has to do with Shobhna Kumar. Actually something and nothing.

First of all, I think this is a remarkable thing she has done in India. Hats off  Shobhna! We are with you. Lez we can!

Regathering my thought now

Have you, while visiting  a B&N or a Borders store ever went across to the “Gay & Lesbian” section and looked around to make sure before you stepped inside. And of course all other Q related stuff gets tagged here. And have you noticed how “Woman’s and Gender studies” is there in the same aisle too. In my coming to age (I mean to terms with myself) years,  I have wondered and got lost a many times about where I should search for Trans related stuff. I would presume Gender studies, right? NO, apparently not!  Kind of beats my logic.


Yes! that was me 5 years back. There was a time when I was scared and working on my issues and it mattered to me if anyone would see me walk into THAT aisle. I was filled with doubt and shame – Thanks to the overpowering sense of prejudice and worthlessness cast upon me by the society.

But over the years, things have changed a lot. I feel proud now and I feel confident (and sometimes with a need to provoke) going up to the woman at the front desk and asking her if she can help me find the book.

However, I have had the look from some fellow Indians who when they notice me in THIS section, the look on their faces with a “I am going to rape you with my eyes” stare  is OMG, here she is – A sinner. I am sure she is going to hell look. Or, may be I mean in Indian Culture do  these people really exist?

The answer is Yes my dear and since we are talking about culture, I think its high time you read upon the story of Sikhandi. And also, since you brought the topic of Hell, “I will see you there“.

Or, they just avoid the whole aisle altogether and walk in the adjoining one. Which of course perplexes me and makes me wonder – Is it about the insecurity with their own sexuality and/or gender identity? Or, are they thinking if it would be highly contagious to walk through here, because the gay bug might bite their ass.

More recently, at a coffee shop, an Indian dad whom I think is visiting his son & grand kids was staring at me for a whole minute. All this when I was sitting in a corner enjoying my coffee and reading my book. For a second, I felt like a total weirdo. A minute longer, I would have called the cops. Please people, don’t stare! I know we look gorgeous but please spare us that look.  That said, I have always found smiling at them diffuses a lot of tension and at many a time makes the other person feel busted with a need to rush out of that place.


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Rashmi grew up in India and now she enjoys her time living in one of the queerest places in the world. She started transitioning a while back and is gradually coming out to people she thinks are cool enough for her. She enjoys discussing any topic under the sun and has an opinion about anything and everything. She thinks of herself as someone who can only hold intelligent conversations with people, when in reality she is totally insane and crazy, not to mention she has been highly hormonal recently. *GRIN*

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