Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Queer man out

Vartanama, Jan '15
By Pawan Dhall

This piece of writing is fresh off a big fat Indian wedding, which was also about Punjabi and Gujarati integration – makki di roti and sarson saag marrying shrikhand and dhokla towards marital and culinary bliss (all items mentioned being personal favourites)! The Punjabi side of the marriage was special in its own right – the bride was from Hindu-Muslim parentage. National integration di ho gayi wah bhai wah – and that is not tongue-in-cheek, I mean it and I am happy to be part of a family that has often pushed boundaries. This has also been cause for personal inspiration on several occasions.

Was it celebration or protest?

Insight, My Story, Jan '15
Drake Fort on a fun-filled yet poignant anti-patriarchy, anti-Section 377 gathering outside Academy of Fine Arts, Kolkata on New Year’s Eve

It was the perfect way to end a New Year’s Eve, with a loud, resounding and cheering “No” to patriarchy! This was the theme that resonated throughout an event titled ‘Call against Patriarchy – Defying Edition 377!’ held on a cold 31st night around a small open-air stage outside the Academy of Fine Arts in Kolkata.  Despite the chill, no one felt the slightest bit frosty. There was fire in our hearts and it burnt brighter as one performance after another furthered our resolve to keep fighting the injustices of a world that militates against anyone who is ‘not male, not heterosexual, not able-bodied, not normative in terms of class, caste, race or religion’.

From inclusion to exclusion?

Cinemascope, Jan '15
Paramita Banerjee reviews The Unheard Voice: The Trans-Shamanic Culture of Manipur

Filmmaker Madhusree Dutta informs us that “in 1914, the word ‘documentary’ was used for the first time in the prospectus of the Continental Film Company in USA for In the Land of Head Hunters, a film on American Indians by ethnographer Edward S. Curtis” (In Defence of Political Documentary, Infochangeindia webzine). She goes on to tell us that in India this genre of films flourished in the 1950s, when Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru established the Films Division of India primarily to produce films as a mechanism to reach out to a vast majority of the people in the newly formed nation state, many of them illiterate, to inform them about the vastness, greatness and pluralistic cultures of the country.

Trans queens of Manipur

Clickhappy! Jan '15
Manipur’s annual transgender beauty contest continues to pack a punch and offer some good music and dazzling photo opportunities! Pawan Dhall captures some

As in the previous edition, the ‘4th Miss Trans Queen Contest North East India 2014’
held at the Bheigyachandra Open Air Theatre in Imphal on December 16, 2014
was high on the anti-Section 377 protest element

More on gender change legalities

Advice - Rights and Laws, Jan '15
By Kaushik Gupta

See also Gender Change Legalities in the August 2014 issue of Varta.

Reader queries

I have a transgender friend. After the Supreme Court judgment, she wants to change all her identity documents right from the birth certificate onwards and step out as a whole new person. Please advise how she can proceed.
Anonymous, Howrah