By Anam Mittra:
In India, we have been witness to the long-standing battle against the draconian Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code which criminalises gay sex. Recently, we saw how Shashi Tharoor’s efforts at introducing a private member’s bill in the Parliament to repeal the Section met with stiff resistance and prejudice from various political parties. The effort to remove Section 377 from the IPC has been a very visible battle and the support from the media and civil society has been helpful.
But what happens to the everyday battles one faces as a queer person, specifically as a queer woman, living alone in an urban space?
The motivation for making the video came from hearing many accounts of discrimination and inconvenience faced due to the protagonist’s ‘divergent’ sexual orientation. As part of the process of sensitising the public, there is a burning need to talk about the smaller and repetitive pressures and fears, that make life difficult for queer people. Negotiating public transport, homophobic flatmates, a sense of loneliness; the list is long and exhausting. The video does not purport to speak for everyone but, through the example of a single individual, aims to throw some light on the personal aspects of what is, after all, a political issue concerning choice and sexual liberty.
Running parallel to this is the narrative of finding love and solidarity as well, from within the community of queer people. As the protagonist points out, this solidarity needs to be expanded regardless of barriers like class. Our objective is to highlight the myriad experiences of the protagonist, which may find resonance with others, and to reach out to those who may not be very well-informed about queer lives due to various reasons.
There is no ‘right’ time, per se, to work towards a more just society and we hope that this video will contribute towards the larger body of work by many others; that it will provoke more informed discussions and, ultimately, uproot prejudice.