Going Beyond 377 : Panel Discussion for IDAHOBIT Focuses on Issues Queer People in India Face in Their Daily Lives

On the occasion of IDAHOBiT (International Day Against Homophobia, BiPhobia and Transphobia), Gaylaxy and Feminism in India organised a panel discussion on the topic: Beyond 377 – What India Needs to Do For Queer and Trans Justice” on May 1st at India Habitat Centre, Delhi.

The panel was moderated by Gaylaxy Editor-in-Chief Sukhdeep Singh, and had eminent activists like Anand Grover (Senior Advocate at Supreme Court and Director of Lawyers Collective), Rituparna Borah (Queer Feminist and co-founder of Nazariya), Simran Sheikh (Transgender Activist) and Dhrubo Jyoti (queer activist and Delhi-based journalist) on the panel.

Japleen Pasrischa, founder and editor-in-chief of Feminism in India, began the event with the introduction of the panelists. Sukhdeep Singh began the discussion by speaking about why this particular topic was chosen. He said, “The discussion around LGBT Rights has always centred around Section 377 in India, but Section 377 is not the only thing that affects queer lives. Queer people face violence and injustice in various forms and not just in the hands of police, but much of it happens in family, friends, at workplace. And so it is important that we discuss the various forms of violence and what are the different challenges that queer people face apart from Section 377.”

Panelist Rituparna Borah spoke about the issues trans people face while accessing toilets, and pointed out that Section 377 does not apply to women. She said it is time we start talking a language of pleasure instead of violence, and also spoke about how accessing healthcare can be a traumatic experience for queer people.

Anand Grover too spoke about issues related to health care, and also raised the complexities involved in property and succession rights. Dhrubo Jyoti talked about the various discrimination queer people face within the community, and how the queer movement can be exclusionary. He also spoke about housing issues that many people face.

The discussion was followed by a round of Q&As from the audience. You can also watch a short video of the panel discussion below.