My politics demanded an alignment with my life, and as my personal life choices were almost always against the norms of society, this was the default option. As one moved away and tried to make communities of choice, however, there were newer lessons to be learnt.
केवल एक तरह से जीवन जीने, या अपनी यौनिकता को अनुभव करने से अधिक और भी बहुत कुछ होता है। इसके लिए ज़रूरी है कि पहले तो हम अपने मन में इसे स्वीकार करें और इसके लिए तैयार हों।
There is a deep connect between travel and sexuality that is internalized at gut level. From birth perhaps. Across cultures. The two are almost metaphors for each other, twins, borrowing words from the lexicon of the other, entwining identity.
I don’t know if travelling has changed my life, but I can definitely say that it has altered my thought process for the better. Especially, solo travelling has given me a lot of courage and determination to do things I had thought I’d be unable to do.
Home, to me, was never a static entity, but my time in a girl’s hostel feels like the embodiment of everything my ideal “home” is – empowering, liberating, and full of women who love each other unabashedly.
The book is especially remarkable for readers of both Indian English and Kannada literature, for amplifying the voice of sexual minorities in Indian towns and villages.
Shilpa believes loitering, just being, just hanging out in public places, is about ‘claiming the city with your body’. One of the co-authors of the book, ‘Why Loiter: Women and Risk on Mumbai’s Streets’ published in 2011, Shilpa has authored several essays and journals on issues of feminist parenting, gender and the politics of space, the right to take risks and related thoughts and concepts.
I extend my support and solidarity to people, across the spectrum of gender and sexuality, who want to break closed doors and walls to establish safe spaces where one can love freely, without inhibitions; people who seek to re-define love and intimacy in their own independent, non-patriarchal terms.
As renowned queer scholar Judith Butler said, “For those who are still looking to become possible, possibility is a necessity.” This is essential but also easier said than done.
However elusive the combination of safety and adventure, it’s a framework I find terribly useful. It helps me understand much of life, including spirituality and sexuality, and what the two might have in common.
Many among us are called names, are greeted with aggressive taunts and jeers on the very streets we boldly occupy at least once every year,so we go on living docilely until the next Pride, when performative reclamation of spaces becomes possible.
Queer cafés are not exempt from the fast changing landscape of Indian metropolitan areas and offer both inclusion as well as exclusion from the promise of a queer utopia.
Tales delicately yet powerfully draws out the conflict between sex workers and feminism in India,at a time when a lot of feminists thought of prostitution through a SWERF lens.
“Mamma, look, that’s a boy giraffe, I can see his penis,” exclaims my four-year-old daughter in delight at her discovery as we stand watching the stately animals at the fabulous Mysore Zoo. Far from cringing at the over-loud tones of my daughter, I beam at her, “That is clever of you.”
As we move into a new year and a new decade we hope to be moving towards a more just and peaceful world, especially given the troubled times that people all over the world have been and are currently experiencing. And so, in this new year, we wish you lots of SISA spaces through 2020 and beyond!