Balancing my privilege with the legitimacy of my own identity and emotions has been challenging, and it pushes me into a constant state of expressing myself and holding back. I’m still learning about how I can hit the sweet spot between taking up space that isn’t mine, and allowing myself to see myself as a legitimately queer being.
For me, pride is about the aspiration that someday I will go back to my family, my school and college and talk from the bottom of my heart about who I am and why I never stood up to people when I had the choice.
We are all gifted with the innate ability to feel and recognise love as an emotion and expression. But we are never taught about how to use it and how important it is to accept that love exists in many forms. I guess we really need to learn how to USE our love, i.e., Understand, Support and Embrace the love that we have for ourselves, and the love we have to share with the world.
Rafiul Alom Rahman is the founder of The Queer Muslim Project (2017), and of the Delhi University Queer Collective (2014). In an interview with Avali and Arunima from The YP Foundation, he talks about the challenges of organising around queer issues and politics within university spaces, about the queer movement in India, and about the importance of The Queer Muslim Project - not only in the lives of Muslim-queers, but also in the larger socio-political context of the country.
As part of the KYBKYR Programme, TYPF transacts in community based comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) sessions with girls and young women in partnership with field based organizations. At the end of this year’s phase of work, girls from one of the centres (Samarpan organization in Kishangarh, Delhi) ran a facilitated campaign on sexual harassment in public spaces to engage with their mothers and other community members on the issue.
With March being celebrated as ‘Women's History Month’, TYPF highlighted key moments in the history of women’s rights through 3 projects – a collection of essays, an interview series, and a crowd-sourced visual media project. The focus of these projects was women, their challenges, their fight, their history and their present.
आवेदन भेजने की अंतिम तिथि 5 जून 2017 है!
The Samvidhan Live- The Jagrik Project is a nationwide initiative that aims to build young people’s awareness of their fundamental rights and duties as citizens of India. The project engaged young people between the ages of 12 and 25 over a 8-week period, to undertake a series of community and self-reflective tasks associated with different fundamental rights and duties.
You may have spotted posters from train windows, as you enter stations, or at traffic signals that offer to solve your ‘sex problems’. Right from these unremarkable flyers touting unregistered medical practitioners, to over-the-counter (OTC) contraceptives that are dealt, as though, to fugitives, and the dark coloured polyethene bags that seal off sanitary napkins from the outside gaze, the enigma that surrounds transactions of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services in the country, is only comparable to that which surrounds illicit drug trade.
There is a huge gap when it comes to information on sex and sexuality, and this gap further widens when we talk about abortion. With multiple opinions on abortion and the negative connotations attached to it, the information available is often wrapped in societal notions and judgments - thereby, not being all that useful for those who choose to undergo this procedure.
TYPF interviews Christina Dhanraj, one of the founders of the Dalit history month collective. She talks about the journey of starting the collective, navigating the identity of being a dalit as well as a dalit woman and all that comes along with it.
Shirin Choudhary, a former fellow at TYPF, writes a piece for Dalit History Month.
"When I made the enquiry... it was unheard of because it was so dangerous; no one was willing to take it up... A lot of people told me not to because it would be dangerous, and all I could think was “So what if it’s dangerous? I have a duty to fulfill. What happens after that, I don’t know”.
"Women’s movements have their blind spots, like all of us do, but there has continuously been pressure from within and outside to keep moving in our understanding. It doesn’t come easy to everybody but at the same time I think that if I look around and see other movements, I find that the women’s movements in the articulation of morality has shifted quite a bit..."
"The fact is that the tawaifs as a group have always existed on the margins of patriarchy. ... Though they were not considered quite respectable because of the stigma attached to women being ‘outside’, they were not pariahs either. ... It was a very interesting, fascinating state. But with the coming of colonialism, that delicate balance really shifted. In the pre-1857 period, the Evangelists were very active with this very repressive Victorian morality. Where did the tawaifs fit in? Their presence was appalling because they don’t quite conform to the notion of Victorian morality."
In 2002, commercial surrogacy was legalized in India. Over the next decade, the industry grew tremendously, estimated to be a $2 billion a year business. However, a number of incidents between 2002 and 2015 highlight the absolute disregard for the rights of the surrogate mother and child, the lack of comprehensive laws related to surrogacy, and the exploitation of loopholes within the already existent ones.
I learned about Shanar revolt back in 2009 from a small section in my 9th grade History textbook under the chapter “Caste Conflict and Dress Change”.
The International Planned Parenthood Federation is an important body that protects the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women, young girls and adolescents - and it was born right here in India in the 1950s.
Shannon writes about the watershed moment that was the mass mobilisation around rape laws, in the wake of horrific instances of violence in the 1970s, and the resultant emergence of autonomous women's collectives.