I am developing tools and resources for young people in India to be better equipped to deal with their sexuality (especially in the LGBTQ communities) through both in-person trainings in schools and online resources for wider access through podcasts and articles. I am also a writer-researcher working on issues of queer rights, gender justice, and peace education.
My project is called The Queer Bookshelf. I am trying to address the lack of meaningful, sustained and affirmative engagement with issues pertaining to the LGBTQIA+ community among schools in India. Students who belong to this community face bullying, hate speech, sexual abuse, and a high risk of suicide.
I want to counter the prejudice, discrimination and violence by exposing school communities as a whole to books with LGBTQIA+ characters and themes that are written with sensitivity, compassion, and a sense of humor. I believe that homophobia, bi-erasure, and transphobia can be reduced through workshops that open up dialogue on topics that are often considered taboo. I also want to put together a reading list, a resource book and a podcast that would support educators in deepening this work in their own educational institutions.
“In a country that calls itself the world's largest democracy, there needs to be a greater push for diversity and dignity. I want to make that happen.”