Amplifying queer voices

Updated: Jan 13, 2019, 10:59 IST | A Correspondent | Mumbai

At a Vikhroli event in which non-metro voices find space in the LGBTQi community

As part of the Queer Azaadi Mumbai (QAM), Godrej India Culture Lab is set to host two events to explore intersections that shape Indian queerness. These events, to be held on January 18 and 26 respectively, will discuss the impact of caste by involving non-metro voices from the LGBTQi community.

Public discourse around LGBTQi rights movement in India has been dominated by narratives of upper-caste activism. Therefore, the first event on January 18 will aim at broadening the imagination of Pride and initiating talks about what it means to be Dalit and queer in India. This event will feature a panel discussion with poet Dhiren Borisa, trans rights activist Grace Banu (below), and advocate and anti-caste activist Kiruba Munusamy.

Banu, the first transgender person to be admitted to an engineering college in Tamil Nadu, says, “All my life, I have faced two kinds of discrimination: caste-based and gender-based. Within the queer circuit as well, there is immense discrimination. Therefore, we will use this platform to get Dalits, adivasis, tribal peoples and Muslim queers to raise their voices.”

Rapper Sumeet Samos (above) will also grace the event with verses on Dalit oppression and caste discrimination. He says, “I have prepared a couple of songs on manual scavenging, among other hard-hitting subjects. The topic is not limited to a particular slum or a pocket in the city; it is spread across the country.” Another event, to be held on January 26, will revolve around the numerous collectives and individuals working for LGBTQi rights.

When: January 18 (5.30 PM), January 26 (11.30 PM)
Where: Auditorium, First Floor, Godrej ONE, Vikhroli (East)

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