Yet, it was my first time hearing about an intersex person that wasn’t one of the two ‘disorders’ in our Biology textbook. It was my first time seeing the idea of someone having XY chromosomes but presenting physically in line with society’s notion of a cis-woman.
The film unfolds over the city in the darkness of night, which, as we know, is where we can see stray shapes and shadows in the corners. It may be the end of a workday, or it may be that those whom Chippa meets belong to the dregs of an indifferent society, people who are so invisible that they cannot help but allow Chippa such free rein.
The diagnosis of ‘Gender Identity Disorder’ has only been renamed to ‘Gender Dysphoria’, and the criteria, in itself, still remains. Hence, it is better understood as a revision than a removal. Being trans is considered a mental illness in the DSM in any and every way that it was before.
Paatal Lok explores the crime thriller genre brilliantly with its fast paced storytelling and the way it managed to sew together the loose ends with its climax, even if I say so myself. However, the show’s actual intrigue comes from its critique of the Indian polity. It attempts to comment on the prevailing caste hierarchy, Islamophobia, and transphobia in the country.
What brings us together can’t be the same as what hurts us; we cannot be romanticize and bond over our own oppression without making it central to our identities.
The film falls under the genre of horror - comedy, although it fails to elicit any response that is suitable to this label. Infuriatingly, most of the film’s comedy and horror hinges upon the supposed dissonance of watching a cis man perform the mannerisms societally deemed “feminine”.
Every Valentine’s Day gig I’m offered, I’m performing along with a cis-man because the hotel wanted a “boy-girl duet” to up their romance quota. This triggers bouts of dysphoria because my voice is what puts me in the “girl” category in such gigs. While being a transman is a part of my identity, being a musician is an even bigger part.
The film is problematic with its very premise of making a ghost out of a trans person played through a cis person and the image and representation that is portrayed through this.
What amuses me is that a post advocating for trans people’s admittance in gender-segregated spaces for cis people immediately triggered a question on ‘competitive sports’. Priorities, priorities. This is hardly the first time I’m seeing an ignorance being passed by a cis person.
I think it’s because of religious decrees around head cover and some states like Iran making it mandatory in public life. So people tend to associate it with religion. Head covering is common in many religions and cultures and not just Islam. There is no compulsion in Islam to do anything – we are all able to exercise our free will. Any legislation which forces women to wear or snatches away their right to wear – both are discriminatory.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination against employees on the basis of race, colour, national origin, religion, and sex. However, Title VII failed to address discrimination against employees based on gender identity and sexual orientation and hence, many employers used this loophole as a means to harass and discriminate against the Queer Community at their workplaces.
Nagarkirtan is a story about two characters, Puti, a trans-woman stuck in a man’s body living in a ghetto for hijras in Kolkata with her Gurumaa and her chosen family, and Madhu, a cis-gender man who is a flutist with a kirtan group and a part-time delivery boy from the rural heartlands of Bengal.
My idiotic heart that clings to every false hope led me into believing that this change of place would mark a new beginning of acceptance, kindness and warmth. Little did I know that humanities can only teach such notions but cannot force you into practising it.
Tiktok may be a space for subversive, non-normative and queer content as well as dissent, but the idea that Tiktok’s popularity can be accorded to a pop-culture from below, simply accessed and not mediated, does not stand scrutiny.
The title of the documentary is evoked at one point by writer and actress Jen Richards, “I kind of hate the idea of disclosure, in the sense that it presupposes there is something to disclose.” I’m still trying to wrap my head around this and many other things said in the documentary. Having struggled with coming out and the idea of stealth, having often thought, “at what point do I need to tell them I’m trans?”, her statement brings up many feelings and emotions for me, as I attempt to process the idea of a world where my transness is absolutely nobody else’s business.
However, the biggest fallacy of the entire piece lies with the basic thesis; that Trans and queer rights differ. The classification of queer rights as ‘gay rights’ is erasure in itself, as it boils it down to the oversimplified assumption that human sexuality exists within the gay-straight binary.
Due to the lack of widespread legitimate recognition in the area of the LGBT+ Community, oftentimes the members of the same are resolutely ignored and, in most cases, alienated. They are considered no longer a ratified member of the society and their uniqueness is interpreted in the likes of a contagious virus.
LGBTQIA+ people have at several points in time being legally excluded from the public eye, and now it has transformed into a plethora of illegal yet forgivable acts of harassment, exclusion, violence and discrimination against such people.
While the trans community is the one she is actively discriminating against, other LGBTQ+ individuals, Trans allies, and members of the Harry Potter fandom are also speaking up about the disappointing and dangerous way that the author is deciding to use the influence that she has because of the global community that has loved her work.
The goal of the 'therapy’ is vulgarly clear - to change one's sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expressions to societally normative identities. In the processes, people may be subjected to psychoanalysis, religious faith healing, exorcism, aversion behavioral conditioning, electroshock, surgical interventions, and even corrective rape.