Queer Infocus | November I ’19

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

The Indian Army doesn’t want its gay officers to go ‘unnoticed and unpunished’

November 1, 2019

More than a  year after the Supreme Court decriminalized gay sex and adultery, the Indian Army holds the belief that, to maintain discipline in the forces, these acts need to stay punishable. The Adjutant General of the Indian Army, General Ashwani Kumar, said that other provisions will be made to ensure the same while abiding by the Supreme Court’s decision.

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Amit Khanna is back with another film, ‘Friends in Law’, starring Shreedevi Chowdary

November 6, 2019

Amit Khanna, who received a lot of praises for his past films, ‘All About Section 377’ and ‘Still Out Section 377’ is back with another powerful film, ‘Friends in Law’. An English – Telugu cross over, it revolves around an orthodox South Indian mother, played by Shreedevi Chowdary, and her gay son’s partner. It released on Amazon Prime on the 9th of November.

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Centre to open shelter homes for transgenders 

November 8, 2019

Addressing the concerns around the lack of shelter homes for transgenders, the centre is considering a project that will run on a pilot basis in three to five states accommodating 25 occupants. The National Capital could be one of the potential locations.

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Goa marched with pride

November 12, 2019

The Goa Rainbow Trust organised their third Pride de Goa to celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community. The walk was flagged by fashion giant, Wendell Rodricks and film writer-editor, Apurva Asrani. The attendees were dressed up in colourful clothes as they walked along the promenade, chanting slogans while they held up posters, gleaming with pride.

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Indian Survey finds 56% respondents would refuse organ from LGBTQ donor

November 12, 2019

A survey conducted by Edelweiss Tokio Life Insurance in association with Karvy Insights, covering 1565 respondents across 12 cities revealed that 56% of them would not take organs from LGBTQ donor while a shocking 54% were of the opinion that they should be allowed to donate organs.

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HC issues notice to Centre on PIL over passport rules on sex reassignment surgery

November 13, 2019

A resident of Chennai moved the Madras High Court, in an attempt to declare the passport rules which demand Sex Reassignment Surgery certificates for gender determination as unconstitutional as it violates Article 21 of the Constitution. He said that not only is it unconstitutional but also illegal as per the Supreme Court’s judgement relating to the rights of transgenders.

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Equiv uses AI to help Indian Inc make inclusive hires

November 12, 2019

Bengaluru-based startup Equiv, founded by Naren Krishna in 2017, using data science helps organisations find candidates from the LGBTQ+ community to fill positions, placing over 700 members of the community. It also uses artificial intelligence to suggest suitable person for the job.

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The Indian army’s stance on homosexuality and the overwhelming majority who would reject organs from queer donors is only further proof that striking down Section 377 does not put an end to widespread homophobia in India. That being said, it is refreshing to see better and increased LGBTQIA+ representation in mainstream media with the upcoming queer movies and states like Goa keep their pride traditions going. Diversity initiatives taken up by companies like India Inc may also encourage competitors to move towards a similar culture.

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