On being Queer & the Quandaries of “Love yourself”

I am Harsh and currently, I am a student of literature. I am a history buff and I am an avid reader of non-fiction history and political books. I am vocal about gender rights, feminism, LGBTQ culture, and politics. In my free time, I try to do art, poetry and I write letters. A queer man from a semi-rural state of Bihar, I try to do my part of duty by making people aware of their gender rights. When in Delhi I try to participate in queer activism and write about mythology and culture.
Harsh Aditya

Saransh, a history student, lives with his orthodox family who is pretty serious about their beliefs like most Indian families. Every day he leaves home, walks a few blocks away, and finds the washroom in the nearest cafe where he puts on the oversized shirt bought from the women’s section. He also puts on his septum ring, applies nude lipstick, and uncovers tattoos on his collar bone, shoulder, and feet. He then wears his silver rings and anklet and leaves for his college.

He is a freelance writer, a hardcore feminist, and makes art in his free time. He spends his days plotting the murder of patriarchy and actively participates in pride parades and debates for his right in the college society. He aspires to be a historian specializing in gender and sexual history. Continue reading “On being Queer & the Quandaries of “Love yourself””

Intimate Partner Violence in queer relationships: A well-hidden reality

I am Harsh and currently, I am a student of literature. I am a history buff and I am an avid reader of non-fiction history and political books. I am vocal about gender rights, feminism, LGBTQ culture, and politics. In my free time, I try to do art, poetry and I write letters. A queer man from a semi-rural state of Bihar, I try to do my part of duty by making people aware of their gender rights. When in Delhi I try to participate in queer activism and write about mythology and culture.
Harsh Aditya

Sameer is an architect. He had been in a few relationships before getting married. He recalls this one particularly abusive relationship which took a huge toll on his mental health.

 “I was in a relationship with a guy who I met during my masters in Zurich. We had the same likes and dislikes and within the next few months, we were together.”

He says, “One day we went out to a party thrown by my friend. I am an extrovert, so I naturally started talking to guys around me. I talked to them, cracked some jokes. We came back to the dorm and to my surprise; my partner pushed me down on the floor. I could sense anger in his eyes. He held me by my collar and said, “Don’t you dare flirt with other guys!” 

This was the first time he used physical force on me. Continue reading “Intimate Partner Violence in queer relationships: A well-hidden reality”

Asexuality is an orientation, not a disorder

I am Harsh and currently, I am a student of literature. I am a history buff and I am an avid reader of non-fiction history and political books. I am vocal about gender rights, feminism, LGBTQ culture, and politics. In my free time, I try to do art, poetry and I write letters. A queer man from a semi-rural state of Bihar, I try to do my part of duty by making people aware of their gender rights. When in Delhi I try to participate in queer activism and write about mythology and culture.
Harsh Aditya

In the term LGBTQIA, letter A stands for Asexuality. A term that has been overlooked and misinterpreted while the people who fall under this spectrum have been subjected to ridicule and sneering. In a country where any kind of discourse & debate around sexual identities is still frowned upon, no wonder majority of us don’t understand asexuality.

There is an evident lack of awareness even among the ‘wokest’ of us. In a society where sex is romanticized and is looked at as the ultimate culmination of love and romance, it becomes challenging for people to come out as asexual. Continue reading “Asexuality is an orientation, not a disorder”

In the midst of a pandemic: Struggles of LGBTQ community in Kashmir

Sana is a research scholar in Political theory, which happens to be the love of her life. She has been contributing to online magazines and journals on gender issues and Feminist theory. She is an avid reader and hopes to establish an archive of acknowledgement pages one day.
Sana Shah

It is no hidden fact that a population existing in a political conflict experiences an increased susceptibility when it comes to mental health issues, apart from the economic strife and socio-cultural struggles. A population that is already pushed to the margins, unfortunately also has the marginalized within the margins, who suffer doubly. This is especially true when it comes to the LGBTQ community of Kashmir. Continue reading “In the midst of a pandemic: Struggles of LGBTQ community in Kashmir”

The familiar unfamiliar – Culture vs. Homosexuality 

I am Harsh and currently, I am a student of literature. I am a history buff and I am an avid reader of non-fiction history and political books. I am vocal about gender rights, feminism, LGBTQ culture, and politics. In my free time, I try to do art, poetry and I write letters. A queer man from a semi-rural state of Bihar, I try to do my part of duty by making people aware of their gender rights. When in Delhi I try to participate in queer activism and write about mythology and culture.
Harsh Aditya

           ‘The Manusmriti equates homosexual sex to a man having sex with a menstruating woman, or having sex during the day, and the punishment involves purification rites: bathing with clothes on, and fasting for a night, and eating specific cow milk and urine related products. Failure to purify can result in loss of caste. The crimes of heterosexual adultery and rape, and deflowering a virgin, have much higher fines and more intense purification rituals. (XI:175)’

I grew up in a highly privileged orthodox Bihari family with strict rules and stricter gender norms. At a very young age, I realized that something is ‘different’ about me. Homosexuality still remains a taboo topic in society, and thus it is no surprise that growing up gay has its own set of challenges which unfortunately is not acknowledged by the majority of people. Looking back to the earlier times and comparing it with today’s situation would be preposterous because even though the world is getting inclusive each passing day, the challenges of being a rainbow child in the family never get better. Decriminalization of section 377 in the year 2018 was a major step towards a positive change in the lives of the LGBTQ+ community but unfortunately does not ensure their safety and discrimination by the society which looks at them with utmost disgust and shame.

Continue reading “The familiar unfamiliar – Culture vs. Homosexuality “

The rise of gender-neutral​ parenting in India

Shruti is a freelance journalist and poet, who writes about the intersection between gender, politics and art.

Growing up, I had short hair or what was called ‘boy cut’ back then. I used to love wearing shirts and pants, instead of the frocks my relatives would gift me each birthday. On TV, I’d watch Sachin Tendulkar hitting sixes rather than play with dolls. Hence, I was termed a “tomboy”.

For a lot of us, gendered appearances, behaviours, and norms were defined at a young age. While shopping, for instance, there would be two sections in each toy shop: one for boys and one for girls. The former would have plastic guns, bats, balls and action figures. For girls, there’d be dolls, glittery miniature accessories and of course, kitchen sets. All of them wrapped up in shiny pink paper.

Continue reading “The rise of gender-neutral​ parenting in India”

India decriminalised homosexuality last year, why is Bollywood still homophobic?

Shruti is a freelance journalist and poet, who writes about the intersection between gender, politics and art.

The year started with a pleasant surprise for the LGBT community and support groups when a Bollywood movie centered around two queer women hit the theatres in February 2019. While no one can deny that Sonam Kapoor’s Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga in itself was path-breaking cinema, the movie in its effort to sanitize the narrative to make it acceptable to Indian audiences lost the essence of lesbian love. It fails dismally to portray how two women who love each other behave in each others’ company. In the film, the two lovers are only seen exchanging a few hugs and some forehead pecks, in fact, they are called out for doing just that.

Continue reading “India decriminalised homosexuality last year, why is Bollywood still homophobic?”

Feminism for men: How to be a better ally?

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Managing Editor at Moderne Magazine
A former journalist, Ananya specializes in marketing & communications. She worked with a diverse set of firms across the spectrum for six years before leaving the cobwebs of a metropolitan city for a quiet, slow life in the hills.
A depression survivor Ananya primarily writes about mental health, intersectional feminism and society.
When she is not working or traveling, she spends her days in a quaint little town of Northeast India with her husband and two cats, sipping red wine and writing poetry.
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When men say that they support women and feminism what most of them essentially mean is that they support equality till the time it doesn’t get too uncomfortable or challenging for them to question the systemic male privilege and misogyny that benefits them. Men enjoy a position that has been methodically created and upheld for ages to their own advantage- I understand it must be scary to suddenly give up that kind of power, and that is why dismantling patriarchy is so damn difficult. 

Continue reading “Feminism for men: How to be a better ally?”

Why we think that study saying lesbian are more likely to be fat is disturbing

The University of East Anglia and UCL, published a research on Thursday (January 21) in the Journal of Public Health, that investigates the interplay of gender and sexual orientation in obesity via evaluating participants’ BMI index. The research concluded that lesbians are more likely to be over weight.  Continue reading “Why we think that study saying lesbian are more likely to be fat is disturbing”