The recent attack on Pulse, a gay bar in Orlando has been immensely shocking and devastating and has been a huge jolt to the LGBTIQA community from the entire world. Enough speculations have been made on how the attacker was a closeted homosexual and had been a regular at Pulse himself. But the attack is a reminder of how we are falling short in making the world aware of our presence and why we too deserve a life of respect, dignity and above all a safer environment.
Almost everyday as I woke up in the last couple of days, I’d come across the story of an innocent gay man or a wonderful couple who lost their lives in this deadly massacre- the worst the US has ever seen. But what breaks my heart even more is how all of this is the result of a single ignorant man who was probably unable to come to terms with his own sexuality or his shallow pride and took to guns to bring an end to his own turmoil. It’s a shame we have to deal with such issues in 2016, almost forty years since Harvey Milk stood up for our rights and eventually died fighting for them. I really am not sure if we can in any possible way change the thought-processes of millions of stubborn minds out there. Sometimes it is futile for us to think that they could get some sense into their lives and you really can’t do much about it because well, people are rigid! When you’ve lived half or more than half of your life believing in something so strongly and then suddenly someone comes up to you and tells you, “Well you know what? You’ve been wrong all along!”, there simply is no way for them to give in! For example, no matter how much I could try and talk to my parents, they’d never be okay with pre-marital sex. My mum went berserk when she saw 7 condoms from Love My Condom gifted to me by Bernie- Mr. Gay New Zealand and then went all the more crazy when she saw a post I’d shared on Facebook with a picture of those condoms. I might have given my 200% to change their mindsets but if you yourself are not willing to, then there’s really nothing that I or you could do about it. But there’s a solution. We can make sure that our future generation doesn’t have to suffer. We can teach our kids at school that there is so much more to gender than just the existence of a man and a woman and that is okay to blur that line between the two, that it is okay for a guy to dress up in skirt and wear heels, that it is okay for a woman to not want to wear a bra and ride a bike, that it is okay for you to not want to be a man or a woman. I’m extremely happy to see the rise of feminism in the world. The rise of the concept of how men and women must be treated equally and given equal opportunities to learn and prosper in their respective lives. We do have a long way to go, especially in India where a substantial chunk of the female population knows nothing of what feminism is or stands for, but there’s hope and I choose to be optimistic.
But I’m here to talk about the people who don’t exactly fit into these two distinct categories of men and women. And there’s a lot of them. Enough for us to know and understand who they really are and why we need to talk about them. It’s sorta funny when I sit back and think about this issue. Mankind has existed for 200,000 years and the human civilization as we know it has been there for 6000 years yet we have failed miserably to understand our very own-self. Just think over it. 6000 years of civilization and we’re still fighting for equal rights for women, half of my country still doesn’t know what homosexuality is and a major chunk of the ones who know haven’t been able to grow out of their pea-sized brains to accept us for who we are, and let’s not even get to the stigma and the trauma that trans-individuals go through every f*cking day of their lives! The fact that it is so difficult for me to reach out to schools and persuade them to let me speak on sexuality and understand gender beyond the concept of a man and a woman is enough to prove the plight of every LGBTIQ individual in the world. We have manged to create the most ridiculous myths and stories around what God wants us to do, but have failed to understand the very foundation of God’s existence- love, care and acceptance. I wish there was a thing that would enable us to swap our lives for a day. I’m not even asking for more, just that one single day! And we’ll see what they’ll have to say then. All that you need to be happy is an open mind, a book and loads of hope. But look at how we’ve complicated our lives! I only wish for us to be humanists. Equal rights and opportunities for all of us human beings irrespective of our gender identity or sexual orientation. Let us all be humanists.
I’ve always felt that it is extremely important for people to be aware of the vocabulary that is appropriate to use when referring to the LGBTIQ community, more so amongst kids so as to ensure that tomorrow they grow up to become responsible, sensitive and mature citizens of the country. As a result I collaborated with Swaddle– a parenting website for people who don’t like parenting websites. You can read the entire piece here. Here’s a small excerpt from the piece:
“Only a week after I’d won Mr. Gay World India, I received a call from a television channel. During the interview, I was asked whether I was okay with being referred to as the son of Jagannath Sahoo (my father), or whether I was more comfortable being identified as his daughter.
I was taken aback and, to be honest, befuddled. Here was an educated journalist, from a leading news channel, with absolutely no knowledge of the terminology he ought to use to refer to a gay man. The journalist might have thought he was being courteous by letting me choose how I wanted to be identified. But his sheer lack of awareness was insensitive and offensive. I am a gay man. Why would I identify as someone’s daughter?”
The Muzaffarnagar riots were one of the worst things that happened to India in a long-long time. It’s a shame that people in our country still fight for issues as shallow as religion and here I am writing a blog aiming at queer acceptance that more often than not seems like a far-fetched dream when even the basic forms of equality is no where to be seen in parts of the country But we’re not losing hope ‘cos we’re either too headstrong or way too naive to be fighting this war. I really wanted to write a story of how powerful ‘queer-ness’ could be. Because I ain’t writing any sob-story. 😉 Read on to know the story of the ‘Queen of Muzaffarnagar.’
It was a regular Saturday morning except for the fact that it had been raining for almost a day now. I was sitting on the veranda which also happens to be my favourite part of the house when i heard a familiar voice calling out.
“Arnesh! You know the riots are on right? You shouldn’t be sitting out there in the open.”
“But it’s raining Didi! And I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t kill a kid. Look I also have that cap gun you got me for Diwali last year.”
To which she sighed and said, “I wish they thought like you did!”
Shubham Didi worked as a Math teacher in a nearby school. I was the only one allowed to call her Shubham. I don’t exactly remember when she switched her name to Shobhaa from Shubham but I couldn’t let go of the habit and she was okay as long…
This week Aravani is singing the song of love as her favorite season of the year #Fall is almost here. She’s dressed in her favorite dress from the most fun and colorful @itsjeremyscott SS 16 collection straight from the runway and she’s feeling no less than a star.
Remember the admirer we talked about in the last post? Hasn’t turned up since a fortnight. Does the possibility of love seem dwindling down the air?
A lot of the people have been asking me what the entire series is all about. So I’ve planned to release short Instagram videos for all my three characters in the future posts. You can always keep track of the series by using the hashtags. I’ve worked them all out and there shouldn’t be any issues either on the blog or on my Instagram account.
Also it’s officially Fall! I obviously love fall for obvious reasons. It’s fun, it’s exciting, there are pretty leaves all around and you can finally dress in layers, which is absolutely awesome. Loads of amazing posts coming your way. So stay tuned and paws up!
Recap: The Effeminare man was at his boyfriend’s sister’s wending last week and was about to meet his to-be in-laws for the first time. How did it go?
And it’s a yes! They were so happy to meet him and they couldn’t be happier that they’ve found each other. It’s all clicking so well. Seems like a dream already. So what’s next on the cards? Marriage? Not so soon! Stay Tuned.
Sometimes I feel like homosexuals or perhaps the queer community in general could be the most homophobic group of people and that’s exactly why we so need to teach our kids about alternate sexuality, other than the fact that currently we’re not exactly doing a very good job providing them with proper sex education. If you might have watched Caitlyn Jenner’s interview on Ellen, you can clearly tell that a part of her is still a Republican, and she’s not exactly okay with the concept of same-sex marriage. I will be posting something on the same lines in my future posts. Oh also, I have my exams from the coming week, so wish me luck! And I might not be able to post something new in the coming week, but you know I am gonna make up for it. 😉
So this week “The Effeminare Man” is going to attend his boyfriend’s sister’s wedding and therefore he’ll be meeting his boyfriend’s family for the first time. While he’s pretty nervous about it, he made sure his fashion game is still … Continue reading →
Aravani is obsessed with Asifa Lahore and following in her footsteps, Aravani has opened up a night club exclusively for the Queer community in Delhi where she often performs. She has also been helping some teenagers finding it difficult to come out by taking time out of her schedule and meeting and talking to them personally. Meanwhile she’s found some admirers in the club. But there’s someone she finds pretty interesting. Who is he and what is he like? Stay Tuned to know more. Much Love ❤
I think a few weeks ago I came across Asifa Lahore’s hilarious music video Jimmy which is a remake of Mia’s Jimmy, which itself is a remake of Mithun’s popular song from the eighties- Jimmy! Jimmy! JImmy! Aaja! Aaja! Aaja! Remember? Anyways, that sort of took me to all of the most inspiring interviews of this incredible man named Asif Qureshi for whom drag is more than just gaudy makeup and clothes, it is a way of life. Asifa Lahore is one of the first out drag queens and how! A recent documentary of hers (that was showed on Channel 4 in the UK) was widely talked about. She talks about how she gets mails from troubled teenagers trying to fit in, to hate mails with people telling her how she’s a disgrace to the Muslim community and that she must be killed. But here she is, living her life proudly as a Muslim drag and fab. More power to people like her.
Hey people! This week I made a new friend and I’m dying to tell you guys about her. Meet Aravani! She was born a man but she says she is a woman inside. Aravani was born named Aryan but she renamed herself after she came across the Aravanis of Tamil Nadu. The transgender brides of Lord Aravan are called as Aravanis who mourn the death of their husband the day after they get married to him. There is a long story to it, which Aravani will unveil in the coming days and so you’ll have to keep up with her. Stay tuned.
Meanwhile IIIT is bustling energy and tension as the annual tech-fest Esya is finally on. Got myself a pair of super-high heels which make me 5’11 and I’ll be posting a picture soon. 😉 Anyways, do keep up with all the work I will be posting in the coming days. I am a little occupied with all my assignments and an internship, but I’ll definitely make time for some interesting stuff I have in mind. Paws up!
The Effeminare Woman is a true blue fashionista at heart and she thought of recreating one of her favorite looks by the blogger Whimsy Tales this week. She’ll be recreating many more looks in the coming days and for that you’ll have to keep a track of all the work she’s up to. So stay tuned.
Got this pretty scarf from Nizamuddin Dargah this week. The food there is just yum! Took this pic while everybody was flying all their pretty kites and I was doing what I am the best at. #ClickingSelfies
Also had a pretty fun weekend with all the kite flying we had yesterday after my performance at the Independence Day. But the problem is the fact that I don’t feel like studying anymore. 😛 Wanna get through the academics of this semester as soon as possible. >_<
Contrary to what people often believe, I have always been scared to go to places with too many men around. Gym happens to be one of them. Growing up I could never connect with the thought processes of the other boys in my class. I would be scared of passing across streets or playgrounds where most boys often played football or cricket. I was scared that the ball would come to me and they’d ask me to kick or throw the ball for them. So I’d take a longer way to my tuition classes or while going to the nearby stationary so that I never had to come across them. So this summers I gathered all the courage within me and finally made up my mind to go and start working out. I still try going to the gym at times when there aren’t as many men around. It just makes me awkward and shy. In fact I’m as awkward in a lift with another guy around. It’s the funniest thing to me. But that’s how it is. I don’t really think that’s exactly how it is for all the other gay men and I can’t generalize. Maybe it’s because I have always seen guys as bullies or a group of people who look down upon me. That’s how school was for me even till the end. But we’ve moved on. So let’s hope for better things to happen.
Anyways, as you can see ‘The Effeminare Man’ loves working out and has a dream body to die for. He’s proud of being who he truly is and is happy to carry his pair of wings around. So have you got the balls to be a fairy as well?