Pride and Joy

Tomorrow, this 28th of June 2009, Delhi will celebrate its second ever Queer Pride. Hundreds of queer people; lesbians, gay men, bisexual, transgender and intersexed people and their friends and families will come together to celebrate with pride, the dignity and rights of sexually marginalized people all across India and the world.

To speak of sexuality, and of same-sex love in particular, in India today is simultaneously an act of political assertion, celebration, defiance and fear. Indeed, in times when the issue of queer sexuality is beginning to find more space in popular representation, it is important to give voice to a concept, an identity and politics that is only now, and slowly at that, beginning to enter the consciousness of the nation.

Arvind Narrain and Gautam Bhan bring together Because I Have A Voice, a groundbreaking collection of writings that states boldly and clearly that queer lives and politics are inextricably linked with each other. The words of this anthology are those of the queer community itself, spoken in their own voice, as one and yet as individuals, each of whom has a story to tell, and a view to share.

The two editors of the anthology and its twenty-seven contributors discuss the queer mo(ve)ment in terms of its definition and composition; the legal challenges which face the community, particularly the activism against Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code; queer protests and demonstrations which have played a strong role in building wider public consciousness about the issue; a burgeoning queer culture; and the everyday lives of queer people which become in themselves creative sites of resistance. This volume is in many ways an unprecedented effort, as the voice of a community that refuses to be silenced, and the words on these pages are, perhaps, the beginning of its own moment of assertion.

Available here on our website, the paperback is priced at Rs. 295, with 288 pages.

The Queer Pride March starts at 5:30 pm on Sunday, June 28th, 2009, at the corner of Barakhamba Road, continuing along Tolstoy Marg to end at Jantar Mantar. More information here.