Delhi University students have always been up and vocal about everything. They do not shy away from asking questions mirroring society’s actions and thoughts. With Pride Month just gone by, it becomes imperative to reflect on whether or not are we liberated enough to celebrate love, diversity, and heterodoxy beyond the one month of the ostentatious portrayal of PRIDE.
On this note, DU Express took an initiative to ask students of various colleges of Delhi University to share their views on the same.
Vasvi, who is a part of ‘YourQueerly’ the queer collective of Kamala Nehru College, voices how the Queer Community is perceived in the society: “The idea of it is as much heard of as a foreign state and they are okay with the ‘foreigners’ till they don’t enter their own homes. For others, the layered phobia of queerness shows in the way they hide behind their tight smiles to appear as if they are accepting enough in this progressive world, but once in a while that veil slips and the fractured parts of reality shows through. The reality in which they assume the gender of the other person, do not bother asking their pronouns or using them for that matter, where ‘gay’ is a generalized term for every other sexuality and such.”
Education is the fundamental basis of everything yet, at times, it lacks the most prominent of information.
Anushka, a student of Miranda House, opines the role of education in the portrayal of Queer community says: “Education plays an important role in terms of spreading awareness and accurate knowledge about any issue. If schools and colleges provide sex education it caters to the heterosexual norm and speaks nothing of the vast gender and sexuality spectrum. There is so much misinformation about the queer community and this rampant ignorance often creates violent and harmful consequences for members of the LGBTQIAP+ community. There is also very little mention about homosexual relationships in the literature we study which also creates othering when it comes to discussing queer identities. Concepts of gender existing beyond binaries should be included in sex education. There should also be more texts that deal explicitly with the queer community in social art courses. There should also be more conversation around intersections of caste, class, gender within the queer community.”
If there are problems, there also have been changes. Article 377 has been scrapped but has the situation changed for better?
Here is what Suyash, a.k.a Sue from Hindu College who identifies as a Homosexual Panromantic gender-queer person had to say about the scrapping of Article 377:
“The scrapping of Article 377 was a milestone in the history of queer struggle. But, it doesn’t end there. The only thing the removal of the 377 allows is to have consensual sex in private. And, it somewhat frees us from the label of being criminals. As a consequence of this judgment, the corporates and other spaces have started to claim to be ‘inclusive’ apparently, but most of it is mere ‘pink-washing’ and tokenism. The oppression of LGBT youth and children continues, because even though the law has been scrapped. Nothing much has been done by the government/authorities to inform/educate people and police (who continue to treat queer people as second class citizens).”
UP government’s initiative to dedicate Sector 51 Noida Metro Station to trans-community has been much in the news recently. Here’s what Mallika Chaturvedi, a student from Kamala Nehru College, as well as KNC’s queer collective has to say: “I think the UP governments’ decision to dedicate a metro station to the transgender community was a good concept that lacked proper execution. Multiple things could’ve been handled a lot better in the first place. For starters, naming it the “she-man” metro station was incredibly insensitive and ignorant. That term has been used against the trans community in such a derogatory manner, that it just makes a bummer out of the entire idea. Naming it “she-man” does not only reinforce the concept of the gender binary, but it also casts a dark shadow over whatever positive the government was trying to achieve. However, I’m glad they took the criticism and renamed the station after taking suggestions from the community.”
Although. the queer community is celebrated for a month, the rest of the 11 months are still questionable. However, capturing all these stories from various college students stand testimony to the fact that Delhi University is not only a voice for change but a voice for hope as well.
Finally, we have an empowering message from Sue.
“It’s taken a long history of struggles to carve out a niche for us. We must continue to claim our spaces and smash the patriarchy. And, whether you are out or closeted, you are valid. You know what’s best for you and don’t let someone else tell you otherwise.”