We have been featuring the best writers from our writers’ community for their committed contribution to FII, making it what it is today. FII would not exist if not for the passionate and loyal feminist writers’ community that we have steadily been building over the last three years. For September 2021, we feature Rajeev Anand Kushwah.
A student of Masters in Gender Studies at Tata Institute Of Social Sciences, Rajeev describes himself as an overthinker, a self-proclaimed chef, a pop culture enthusiast and a poet/writer. Rajeev got associated with FII in February 2021 and since then, he has written several articles ranging across themes such as pop culture, queer representation in cinema, sexuality and sexual agency and written book reviews. A writer with succinct thoughts and whose writing is largely informed by kindness, some of Rajeev’s popular articles are A Look At Rebecca Sugar’s Queer Gems In Steven Universe and ‘Framing Britney Spears’: The Dichotomy Of Hyper-Sexualization & Infantilisation Of The Pop Star, among others.
FII: Tell us a little about yourself and what you do.
Rajeev Anand: I am Rajeev Anand Kushwah, a Queer Bahujan Gender Studies Scholars pursuing M.A. in Women’s Studies at TISS, Mumbai. I am a writer at Feminism in India, Gaysi and The Reclamation Project. I am also an overthinker, a self-proclaimed chef, a pop-culture enthusiast and a poet/writer.
FII: How did you become a part of the FII writer family?
Rajeev Anand: I became a member of the FII family as it provided me with a space to share my experience as a queer person, largely my views on the intersection of feminism, queerness, and pop culture. The way we engage with texts of any kind, be it literature, movies or tv series shapes how we think of our world and it’s always exciting to look at the feminist, queer, deviant themes within the same. This space allowed me to share the same with the world, and for the reclamation of the ideas of perversion and deviance that are attached to queer lives.
FII: How and when did you become a feminist? Which issues within feminism are close to your heart?
Rajeev Anand: I am still learning to be a feminist. During the time of the Section 377 ruling in 2018, when I came to the realization that my identity as a queer person, a non-normative identity is going to impact every aspect of my life, that was the first time I realized that I need to be a feminist. Until then, I didn’t realize the weight of the meaning of the word ‘politics’, ‘patriarchy’ or ‘rights’. My engagement with texts from sociology about gay and lesbian studies and discussions through women’s development cell also shaped my perspective. Queering everyday life especially within the domain of love, friendships, and family is close to my heart.
FII: What is your favourite piece on this site that you have written, and your favourite piece on this site that you have read? Why did they strike you?
Rajeev Anand: My favourite authored piece on FII is ‘A Look at Rebecca Sugar’s Queer Gems in Steven Universe.’ It’s largely because that show informs my politics. Yes, an animated show informs my politics around friendship, parenting, love, caring and desire and it’s just absolutely queer. My favourite piece on the site is ‘Why Queer Platonic Relationships are Important for Queer People’ by Mili. Mili says queerplatonic relationships give space to all kinds of love and this line sums up why I adore it so much, “Queerness is as much about anger, solidarity, and friendships as it is about romantic love.”
FII: What do you like to do when not writing about gender and social justice?
Rajeev Anand: When I am not writing about gender and social justice, you will find me on long walks, listening to soothing music and weaving poetry out of words. I also like to spend my time binge-watching shows, especially anything related to horror and musicals or reading poems by queer writers all night long. Other than this, I love spending time with my dogs, playing sad gay songs to them with the ukulele :p , or changing the entire look of my room, placing little cute stuff like photographs or fairy lights to make my space more homely and colorful.
FII: What do you like about FII and our work? What more would you like to see from us?
Rajeev Anand: FII does a great job at covering a wide range of themes around gender and sexuality. It provides a social space to engage with queer politics and feminism in its multiplicities. Something more I would like to see is more nuanced work around for desire, pleasure, and sexuality.
FII thanks Rajeev for his timely and valuable contributions. We are incredibly grateful to have him as a part of our writers’ community and appreciate his deeply informative writing.