Recognition from law is one thing but acceptance of society is another. The community is still struggling for jobs and accommodation. Like when I moved to Mumbai recently, I faced lots of difficulty finding a transgender-friendly accommodation. Imagine if this is happening to someone who has a high profile corporate job and think about the less fortunate people.
Coming out as a lesbian in India, be it to yourself or to others, signifies the loss of a certain heteronormative script which governs the lives of most people. This script prescribes a certain timeline by which most lives are ruled, especially in India – marriage, children, in-laws, old age. To be queer in India is to realise that this script will never be your life. But even more significant than the loss of this script is the realisation that there are many things in life that you may never have – a lifelong companion, family, love or happiness. At least, this is what I believed.
Recently, four petitioners from the LGBTQ community filed a petition in the Delhi High Court to recognize same-sex (gay/lesbian) marriage between two Hindus according to section 5 of the Hindu …
Society ensures you believe that your individual identity is a privilege and standing out is a sin. These quarrelling and kissing bunch of queers unwittingly so ensured that I had my own semblance of a family despite often having been denied one themselves.
It has been almost two years since then, and a lot has changed for me. I have since been on dates with women, made a lot of queer friends, completed my Master’s degree which focused on queer literature, and came out to my parents. And yet here I am, trying to write this piece, not feeling at all like these were victories – my victories, our victories, or any victories at all. I think my queerness was theoretical up to that point in my life, and so my struggles were too.
In that moment, I realised that this was mostly everyone’s stance on the LGBTQ+ community in Mysore. No one was willing to talk about it, and those who thought differently about it were too scared to speak up because Mysore is a very close-knit community and family name matters a lot over here.
I am essentially one of those borderline pessimistic realists, who would never get their hopes up in the fear of having their hearts broken. I remember telling myself on the night before the day that I will not let the verdict affect me, that no matter what I will not be disappointed and that I will not let myself feel defeated.
Today, I’m out to everyone; except my mother and grandmother (for reasons I wouldn’t like to share). My brother thinks that homosexuality can be treated. Thanks to Baba Ramdev, who, according to him, has a cure for everything. I do know, as a matter of fact, that my brother and my sister-in-law did go to watch Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan; however, I don’t know what it taught them.
Published by SAGE Publications Rao's book is a collection of nine essays strung around themes of investigating an every-person view of queer theory.
If I wasn’t feeling like shit because I was turned on by girls (one girl in particular), I’m sure I would have found something else to hate myself for. I was young, female, loud, and had a body. Society does this to you. It moulds you till you are all soft woundable spots, and then it makes you kick yourself.
If I could have anything that made me feel more independent, it would be making queerness a part of casual discussion. I wish it wasn’t such an enormous deal. People are gay. Everyone knows it.
I had an opportunity to talk to Diya about her art, what it entails, and how she sees it. And after talking to her about this project, Lorde’s words become more relevant.
The premise of the book explores the very basics of homosexuality and what it means in the Indian contexts. It captures not nuanced sociological theories but instead the religious and indigenous understanding and hostility towards it.
Aneesha, who teamed up with photographer Harish and stylist Divya, collaborated for NAAZ to give us a glimpse of what it means to live in a post-377 India through 6 young voices of the community.
The partially scrapping of Section 377 has been a long time coming, and unfortunately, due to this, the general homophobic, misogynistic and patriarchal mindset that most cis-het Indians have had for centuries, has not changed much.
The year has not been completely bereft of its share of homophobia as well. From a Kolkata girls’ school accusing ten of its students of ‘indulging in lesbianism’, to Kamaal R Khan making homophobic and transphobic comments on his Youtube channel, to the death of Sridevi, a desi queer icon for most of us Bollywood loving gaysis, 2018 has not been an year of complete euphoria.
2018 has been a good year for the LGBTQ community worldwide and now that the year is coming to a close, let’s take a moment to revisit all the milestones we have made as a community.
Here's a glimpse into the wonders that were - in a hope to relive and rekindle the passion with which we have continued to fight and will go ahead with in the coming years.
The stories were inspired by important struggles that have happened and are still happening. I tried to keep an emotional, simple approach as I am disliking the way people are quickly finding reason to divide themselves into camps based on words.
I remember feeling like I was choking, the nervousness and anxiety squeezing my stomach. I felt physically unable to move, but kept up a positive front.