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”

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Understanding Platonic Parenting: A Dialogue on Non-Traditional Families

Vernika Tanwani is 23-years-old, and has pursued Masters in Gender Studies from Ambedkar University Delhi. She writes both professionally and for pleasure and loves creating art in varied forms including poetry, writing, painting, crocheting, and other DIY projects. In addition to being involved in advocacy and activism surrounding gender, she also feels deeply connected to issues such as child rights, climate change, environmental pollution, and animal rights. She has previously presented her research at international and national conferences and her works have been a part of University journals including Niti Samvad (St Xavier's College, Mumbai), DU-Vidha (Delhi University) and Volcano (Banaras Hindu University).
Vernika Tanwani
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The conception of family has, for long, been a part of the debate and discussion around gender and sexuality. Family as a social unit played a significant part in determining how equality, especially in terms of preference, orientation, and gender roles is played out in the social world. Being identified as a family has remained important, especially for non-traditional families because not only does it bring a sense of personal fulfillment but also drives the process of acceptance in society.

Needless to say, the popular media has bombarded all social spheres with the most accepted and appreciated form of what a family looks like, or rather, what a “real family” should look like. We are faced with happy, cheerful portraits of traditional (read heterosexual) families on an everyday basis and we are driven to the point of believing that an ideal family consists of a mom, a dad, two kids, a dog, and a house.

Through popular perceptions, one can easily determine the fragility of this concept and can determine which families are celebrated, which ones are acknowledged, which ones are sympathized with, and which ones are frowned upon. Continue reading “Understanding Platonic Parenting: A Dialogue on Non-Traditional Families”

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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”

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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 “

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