Current heteronormative societies and systems of power such as hetero-patriarchy have seized the space belonging to everyone irrespective of what gender identity or sexual orientation they identify to. The space has been so constrained by the conventional heteronormative ideas of law, rights, freedom and expression that queer identities which do not fall into the set binaries are often marginalised, oppressed and ostracised.
Oftentimes, since the LGBTQ+ community doesn’t fall under the umbrella of conventional gender binaries, are called to have mental disorders, and chemical imbalances and are laden with anomalies which need to be rectified and corrected to fit into the heteronormative understanding of our society.
Moreover, in recent times the rise of right-wing leadership and politics that is rooted in and also caters to conventional, conservative and patriarchal systems of power, has purposely promoted the marginalisation of gender minorities. Lack of understanding and a phobic attitude has made life difficult for LGBTQ+ persons legally, socially and even culturally.
No doubt, the discourse on gender minorities, queer identities and LGBTQ+ persons has been doing rounds in the current mainstream discourse however, the reality on the ground remains different where gender minorities are ostracised, boycotted, lynched and not given rights that cisgender heterosexuals individuals enjoy.
The decriminalisation of Section 377 of IPC and recent marriage equality proceedings in the Supreme Court of India open a new gateway to an equitable society where the rights of not only the majority but also the minority are ensured, however, the awareness and sensitisation among common people need to be addressed and has a long way to go.
Since June is Pride Month, we at Feminism In India have decided to dedicate the whole month to solidarity and allyship with the LGBTQ+ community. We hope to create a discourse on queer affirmation, dismantling gender binaries and call out queer erasure.
To create a discourse on gender minorities that is free and impartial, as well as addresses the heteronormative hegemonic narratives, Feminism In India invites submissions on Pride Solidarity Month throughout June 2023. We hope to contribute to the conversation and create a non-partisan, plural discourse about the LGBTQI+ community.
We do not encourage appropriation, and entries will only be accepted by writers who belong to the LGBTQIA+ community. In case you wish to write a commentary or submit reportage of relevant issues, and you are a non-queer writer, kindly ensure that you include quotes from individuals belonging to the community and maintain a non-appropriation ethic in your submission.
Here are some of the themes that you may find helpful in putting together your thoughts:
- Documentation of queer and LGBTQI movements
- Personal journeys and accounts of persons from gender minority
- Society and LGBTQI+ Community
- Trans Persons, society and Stereotypes
- Law, Rights and LGBTQI+
- Representation of queer individuals in social, institutional and political spaces
- Caste and queerness
- Mental health and gender minorities
- Pride walks – experiences, photo essays, personal narratives
- Queerwashing and performative queer baiting
- Reviews of films, shows and books by queer writers or show queer protagonists.
- Religion and queerness
- Caste and queerness
This list is not exhaustive and you may feel free to write on topics within the theme that we may have missed out here.
We look forward to your drafts and hope you enjoy writing them!
Featured Illustration: Ritika Banerjee for Feminism In India