Queer identities are shaped by caste. Queeristan - Caste and Queerness talked about what it means to be Dalit and queer in India.
Public discourse around LGBTQ rights movement in India has been dominated by narratives of upper caste activism, disregarding anti-caste assertion within the movement, and caste-based discrimination against Dalit-queer people.
Part one of Queeristan featured a panel discussion with activist and India's first trans engineer Grace Banu, activist, poet and urban sexual geographer Dhiren Borisa, advocate and founder of Legal Initiative For Equality Kiruba Munusamy. The conversation was moderated by writer-director and student activist Aroh Akunth. We had a sign language interpreter for the discussion.
Rapper Sumeet Samos closed the evening with his powerful verses on Dalit oppression and caste discrimination. We also had incredible art - Recollecting Pieces by Maari Zwick-Maitreyi, Home by Steevez Rodriguez, JUGAAD / Of Love and Intimacy by Marc Ohrem-Leclef and Love in the Times of Instagram: Find Love by Dan and Jo on display at the event.
The evening ended with a yummy LGBTQ-themed snack reception.
Part two of Queeristan, So Many Queer Indias, will take place on 26 January. RSVP for it here.