Gender sensitization is essential for today’s world as we see the intolerance on basis of gender, sexuality and orientation growing high day by day. There is an earnest need to understand how we can tune in our youngsters to be more inclusive and aware. We see that majority of people who identity outside the gender binaries are often mocked, bullied, molested and abused. This starts from a very young age by fellow kids, who don’t have any idea about gender. Our education system never gave an opportunity to educate the young kids on gender. And to develop inclusiveness, as a society we need to start from the grassroot level – from schools, and from kids.
As a part of counter teaching, performing Drag queen of Hyderabad Mohini Dvi aka Patruni Sastry started an initiative called as “Drag Tales” – an exclusive event for Kids to get them tuned with gender and sexuality.
In Drag Tales, Mohini explained the basis of Gender and Sexuality. She educated the kids with words like “Male”, “Female” and “Trans” and decoded the aspects of orientation such as “Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender”. She started by telling stories from Indian Mythology such as Shikandi, the son of Drupada who was given femininity by Gandharva. Mohini, the form of lord Vishnu who turned Himself to a woman to save Amrit from the demons. Stories of Brinanala- the eunuch form of Arjuna, Chitranga – the women who dressed like men, Aravana the demon who married a transgender person etc. with dance.
As the time progressed, gender bender rhymes were taught to kids and were sung together. Soon, Mohini also educated the kids about consent with an activity called “Touch me Not” and told them “your body is your own and anyone who needs to touch you needs your permission first, without it they are not supposed to touch”.
The event ended with a quick dance routine for all the participants where all the kids cheered and had fun. The event was hosted with a collaboration of a Study House Vision Rainbow in Lakdi ka Pool, which has a mission to educate each student with alternative learning. More than 45 Students along with their parents took part in the session and had fun learning.