Queer Infocus | January II ’20


Queer InFocus is a bimonthly roundup of queer news in India.

Kerala’s 1st Gay Couple Who Got Married In A Temple Move High Court To Get Marriage Registered

January 28, 2020

Kerala’s first married gay couple, Nikesh and Sonu who got married in 2019 have now filed a petition in the Kerala High Court seeking to legally register their marriage. They argued that the refusal to register homosexual marriages under the Special Marriage Act 1954 is a violation of the principles of equality, non-arbitrariness, non-discrimination, individual dignity and personal autonomy under Articles 14, 15(1), 19(1)(a) and 21 of the Constitution of India.

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Mumbai’s older gay men on their colourful second innings

January 29, 2020

To commemorate the lives of the members of Seenagers GupShup group — a support group for gay, bisexual, asexual, senior male ‘teenagers’, a 44-minute-long documentary titled Secrets of Seenagers by Abhigyan Mukherjee, 26, was showcased on the occasion of Republic Day in Mumbai. The film saw questions like member’s views on high fun and dating in the ’70s, to other ‘teenage-related’ subjects. Stressing on the motive of the film, Dr Prasad Raj Dandekar, a radiation oncologist who’s a part of the group says, “The current lot of older gay men are almost invisible. Nobody wants to talk about them. We want to bring them into the limelight.”

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Police deny permission to hold Queer march from August Kranti Maidan

January 29, 2020

Mumbai Police denied permission to hold Queer Azadi March, an annual march from August Kranti Maidan on the 1st of February, fearing that slogans against the Union government, CAA and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) might be shouted during the event, an official said.

The venue was shifted to Azad Maidan, a designated place for protests and rallies, to host a solidarity gathering instead.

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Ayushmann Khurrana apologises for misinformed statement on same-sex marriage, says it was a ‘genuine slip’

January 29, 2020

Ayushmann Khurrana, ahead of the release of his much-awaited film, Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan, said that he’s proud of the government for legalising same-sex marriages. Upon receiving flack for his lack of awareness, he apologised for the slip up, adding that he wished that same-sex marriages were legal in the country.

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A transgender flag emoji is finally coming to smartphones in 2020

January 30, 2020

The Unicode Consortium recently approved the release of more than 100 new emoji in 2020, some of these include the transgender flag and symbol, gender-neutral and gender-inclusive options for emoji that already exist: a gender-neutral Mx.Claus; a man and gender-neutral person in a veil; a woman and a gender-neutral person in a tuxedo; and a gender-neutral person holding a baby.

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Journalist, activist, fighter for women & LGBTQ rights, Vidya Bal dies at 84

January 31, 2020

Veteran social activist and journalist Vidya Bal died in Pune on Thursday at the age of 84.

She was known for spearheading many fights for women’s rights, one being a legal battle in the Bombay High Court which allowed women the right to enter the sanctum sanctorum of the Shani Shingnapur temple. She was also a supporter of the LGBTQI movement in the city.

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Comments: As the members of the LGBTQIA+ community struggle to gain equal rights as the rest of the country, casual uninformed statements from celebrities is a further blow. The much awaited Queer Azadi March was changed to a gathering as the Mumbai police denied permissions.

Haima Simoes is the Outreach Officer at the Queer Resource Center, One Future Collective.

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