QUEER AZADI ZINDABAD!
On the 2nd July 2010 we will celebrate celebrate an important anniversary.
On 2 July 2009 the Delhi High Court passed a landmark judgement. Sexual acts between consenting adults of the same sex had long been criminalised under Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code. The Court ruled in favour of scrapping this clause, thus fulfilling our most basic demand. Why then are we still asking for Queer Azadi (freedom)?
We ask for freedom because discrimination against us still exists. Many people continue to hate and fear us ‘queers’. ‘Queer’ stands for all LGBTI people, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex, and for Hijra, Kothi, Panthi – all those who are not accepted by a society that recognises only two genders and considers only heterosexual relationships valid.
Besides, the Delhi High Court’s progressive judgement is being stridently opposed by religious fundamentalists of every hue, who proclaim that our lives and desires go against “Indian culture”, that we are “diseased”, and so on. Yet we have always been a part of society, and we have the same rights to equality and dignity that belong to every individual in this democracy.
We wish to place our main demands before our government and our society:
* The 377 case will now be heard in the Supreme Court, hence our demand for this law to be read down continues.
* The Constitution must include provisions to deal with all discrimination on the grounds of sexuality or gender.
*Those amonst us who are transgendered are not recognised by society. Equal citizenship rights and opportunities should be extended to all who do not fit into either of the two categories of male and female.
* The medical establsihment must be made aware of the reality of our lives and our needs, and cease all insensitive and cruel attempts to ‘cure’ us.
* Every individual is under tremendous pressure to marry a person of the opposite sex, as marriage is seen as a must in our society. We are launching a campaign against all such forced marriages.
* We call for an end to homophobia, biphobia and transphobia. We want freedom from violence and hate within families, in educational institutions, at places of work and in public spaces. We especially demand that fundamentalist forces stop abusing us and poisoning people’s minds against us.
We invite you, too, to join us in this celebration-cum-protest and to raise your voice along with ours!
—Queer Azadi Mumbai
Venue : Azaad Maidan
Time : 4pm to 6.00 pm