LGBT activist Harish Iyer to come out with memoir next year

Oct 25, 2018, 17:54 IST | PTI

Survivor of child sexual abuse and a prominent LGBTQ rights activist Harish Iyer will come out with his memoir next year in October

LGBT activist Harish Iyer to come out with memoir next year
Harish Iyer

Survivor of child sexual abuse and a prominent LGBTQ rights activist Harish Iyer will come out with his memoir next year in October. Born in a conservative family, Iyer, who was allegedly sexually abused as a child for almost 11 years, was among the first male rape victims in the country to come out in the open to tell his story.

Tentatively titled "Son Rise", the book published by Westland, will feature Iyer's recountal of the "dark days" of his life, the author assured that it would not be a "depressing read", adding that in no way will it portray him as a "hero".

"This book would be my 'tell it all' tale on whatever I remember about the dark days of my life, but this is not a depressing read.

"It will highlight my everyday life, my coming to terms with my sexuality, my unrequited love story and will also touch upon important issues like animal welfare, gender rights and the fight against 377," the activist said.

The Supreme Court on September 6 this year had decriminalised gay sex in India by striking down the validity of section-377 of the Indian Penal Code. But what is the story behind choosing "Son Rise" as the title of the book?

"I used to spell the 'sun' as 'son'. The day I conquered my fears on national television, my grammar nazi mom wrote a text to me saying, 'my SonRise,"' he said.

Iyer's mother, who earlier was not even aware of his son's sexual orientation or the fact that even males could be sexually abused, today -- along with his son -- is a staunch supporter of equal rights for the LGBTQ community.

"Harish's journey demonstrates that when individuals come together to fight for justice and human rights, centuries-old laws can be overturned. We hope this book will spark more conversations around male child sexual abuse and gender identities," Debasri Rakshit, Managing Editor, Westland, said.

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