Saturday, June 20, 2015

Gensex mish-mash

Vartanama, Jun '15
By Pawan Dhall

South Indian Punjabi Chinese Juice and Ice Cream . . . what would you make out of this geographic and gastronomic concoction that can be interpreted in multiple ways? Do the juice and ice cream in question have South Indian, Punjabi and Chinese influences? Or is the juice in question Chinese and served by a South Indian Punjabi along with ice cream?

Photo credit: Pawan Dhall

Challenging queer ‘cures’

Insight, Jun '15
Psychiatrist Dr. Ujjaini Srimani, advocate Kaushik Gupta and social activist Bappaditya Mukherjee on how to tackle grievous, illegal and unethical attempts to ‘cure’ queer persons

Reshma is 19 and lives in Tangra, Kolkata (some markers of identity changed to maintain confidentiality). Reshma is a trans woman affected by relentless family violence because of her non-conforming sense of gender and attire – so much so that she has started contemplating suicide. Matters came to a serious head recently when she was beaten up by her brother and parents and threatened with eviction from home. This time she mustered the courage to report the matter to the local police station with assistance from Kolkata Rista, a Kolkata-based support forum for trans women. But she was in for a shock when the sub-inspector at the police station sided with her family members instead (though he did record a General Diary based on her complaint), and exhorted them to get her ‘treated’ for the ‘disease’ she was suffering from, even if force was required. If any doctor refused to treat her, he promised to speak to the doctor to ensure that Reshma got the ‘treatment’ she required to become ‘normal’ (euphemism for ‘heterosexual man’).

Calm goes queer in Shillong

Happenings, Jun '15
Rebina Subba reports on the queer happenings at the ‘4th Shillong Creative Arts Literature & Music Festival’ held from May 13-16, 2015

Shillong, May 17, 2015: The ‘4th Shillong Creative Arts Literature & Music Festival’ that concluded at the State Central Library here yesterday broke new ground by including issues of HIV, substance abuse and diversity in gender and sexuality. An entire day on May 15 was devoted to the literary, legal and activist dimensions of the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and other queer people in India.

Pride and angst in Chennai

My Story, Jun '15
The Chennai pride march, now in its 7th year, is headed towards a wider social horizon, writes moulee

Photo credit: moulee
It all started with a single tweet. In early 2013, I tweeted criticising the politics between the queer groups in Chennai. The following week I was in the pride planning meet, discussing how to organise that year's pride parade. The Chennai pride parade (which started in 2009) was then organised by the Chennai Rainbow Coalition (CRC) – an informal collective under which all the organisations, groups and collectives that worked for queer rights in the city gathered.

Naming it right

Advice - Disability, Jun '15
In this second article in a new series on disability, Shampa Sengupta questions stigmatizing and fancy labels for persons with disabilities and calls attention instead to their identity and rights

Masudur Rahman Baidya was a double amputee who crossed the English Channel – he died at a very young age in April this year. At a memorial organised by West Bengal’s largest disabled people’s organisation, where Masudur Rahman Baidya served as one of the Vice Presidents, a renowned athlete (who was not disabled) paid homage to this great achiever.

She said that she never considered Masudur Rahman Baidya “a disabled person” because of the triumphs in his life. With due respect to her point of view, somewhere down the line it began to seem that ‘being disabled’ was a curse and the concepts of achievement and disability did not go together.