The Sex Talk: Another Dimapur

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Dhamini Ratnam
Original Article:

Shortly after the Supreme Court reinstated section 377 of the Indian Penal Code in December 2013, discussions on the way forward began within the LGBT-Queer movement. The legal route entailed the filing of review petitions by the original petitioners and the Government of India (a masterful document: ), which were summarily dismissed by the apex court a month later. At present curative petitions remain pending before the court. But discussions, both within and beyond the queer community, also centred around the personal (which for many is the political) in an effort to deal with a changed reality. The four years between 2009 to 2013 in which section 377 was read down for consenting adults saw multiple coming out stories, efforts by corporates to include queer working professionals in their human resource policies, films and articles, pride parades with fewer masks with each passing year, and a widening network of HIV/AIDS outreach among the men who have sex with men and hijra communities in smaller towns. Homophobic and transphobic violence, threats and extortion and the pressure to marry continued unabated, but the redressal mechanisms were being built steadily. Ten days after the December 2013 SC verdict, a national meet of queer groups and individuals was organized in New Delhi. One thing that seemed clear to many who were present at that meeting, and over multiple nationwide conversations that followed, was the need to identify and forge links with other people’s movements that fight an indifferent, violent and arbitrary state. The demand to be recognised as an identity—minuscule or otherwise—can only succeed if the queer community is able to recognize that it is targeted by the same anxieties that oppress other minority groups, such as Dalits, Christians, Muslims, women, and workers all of whom are fighting for equitable rights and recognition by society and law.

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