Queer Infocus | October II ’19


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

Why Indians are sharing their pronouns on social media

20th October 2019

Language changes are now reflective of a more nuanced understanding of gender, with many non-binary and gender non-conforming people using the pronouns ‘they/them’. Many young Indians are putting their pronouns of their social media profiles, as a sign of solidarity and support for the trans, nonbinary and gender non-conforming community. Earlier in the year, India’s first LGBTQ+ job fair RISE had name-badges with preferred pronouns. Indian companies like Goldman Sachs, Intuit, KPMG, Google and the Lalit group are also following suit, with options to include pronouns on name-badges and email signatures.

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First out lesbian Indian athlete Dutee Chand is Vogue India’s sportsperson of the year

23rd October 2019

Vogue India have selected Dutee Chand as the Sportsperson of the Year 2019. Dutee Chand’s ultimate aim is to bring home gold medals for India in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. As part of the award, she was also featured as a cover star for Vogue India. This is the second cover she has been featured on, after earlier appearing on Cosmopolitan India for their July issue.

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India’s first transgender band appear on The Kapil Sharma Show

25th October 2019

The Sick Pack Band, India’s first transgender band appeared on the latest episode of ‘The Kapil Sharma Show’. They performed and their representative mentioned that the band wanted to convey messages by one of the most ignored communities in the country. Six Pack Band have made a statement internationally, by winning recognition at many big film festivals such as Cannes. The Six Pack Band comprises of Fida Khan, Ravina Jagtap, Asha Japtap, Chandni Suvarnakar, Komal Jagtap and Bhavika Patil.

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Chennai Startup Trained Over 250+ Transgender People, Placed 90+ in Jobs 

29th October 2019

PeriFerry strives to create equal opportunities for the trans community, through training, education, employment and entrepreneurship. Within two years, the startup has already trained 250 people from the trans community, and placed over 90 people in software jobs, HR jobs, banks, and other industries. They also work with companies to help sensitise the workforce on LGBTQ+ issues through workshops, having worked with over 15,000 corporate employees on LGBTQ+ issues.

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‘InsideOut’ Helping LGBTQ Artists Kickstart Their Art Careers

30th October 2019

InsideOut Delhi, a non-profit LGBTQ+ group, in association with the NAZ Foundation, has curated an art competition to educate society about LGBTQ+ experiences in India, and to expose LGBTQ+ artists to a wider audience of buyers, galleries and agents. The theme for this year’s competition is ‘Awakening’, with 76 artists having entered the competition. Chosen finalists get to exhibit their work at the Lalit Hotel’s gallery in New Delhi during Pride Month.

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Gaysi’s latest zine turns horrors faced by queer people into art

31st October 2019

Gaysi’s latest zine features 18 stories from Indian writers, looking at fear through LGBTQ+ perspectives. Gaysi have transformed moments of horror faced by queer people into art for the zine, titled ‘Normal’. Niyati Joshi, editor of ‘Normal’, states how horror stories feature characters of monsters and outsiders that are still used to refer to queer persons today, and by owning the genre to tell honest stories, queer voices are amplified. ‘Normal’ combines Indian folklore and society with desi queer stories.

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In the second half of this month, it has been fantastic to see increased visibility for queer public figures like Dutee Chand and The Sick Pack Band on various media platforms. It is also moving to see NGOs and organisations continue to mesh the intersections of art and queerness to create such beautiful work, and provide opportunities for queer people to further express themselves. The work that PeriFerry is doing is also extremely encouraging, working to reduce the systemic discrimination transgender individuals receive in this country, and here’s hoping more programs such as these provide opportunities for them.

Harshil Shah is a Research Associate with the Queer Resource Center at One Future Collective.

Mapping and negotiating power

Uncuff India Episode 10: Dimensions of conflict and peace: visioning a utopian world

Uncuff India Episode 9: Civic space and dissent: A pathway to social justice