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When we were briefed on this year’s Pride campaign by Fastrack, little did we know that this journey was going to become such an emotional rollercoaster!
What you’ll see next is an epic expression of mad talent, fierce queer energy, generosity of spirit & an absolute riot of ideas.
If we rewind, what comes to mind is the sheer passion & joy with which every single person on this project participated. We discovered wonderful stories & the people narrating those, we laughed & cried together on calls, and we witnessed the blooming of so many wonderful minds.
For this first issue, 'Proud Pronoun' we reached out to our queer community & allies, to explore the importance of stating & asking for pronouns. We took a deep dive - through colours, words, and https://staticimg.titan.co.in/Fastrack/Banners/pridezine/images- into the ramifications of the same.
You’re encouraged to share this - with friends, family, teachers & anyone else who might need it.
We have tried to keep it engaging, so you'll find some pieces where we welcome you to participate in this adventure.
Signing off, a reminder -
Wear your pronouns loud & proud.
ART TEAM: ROHAN, NIKITA, ISHITA
COMM. & STRATEGY: MELISSA, SIDHIKA, SHREYA, PRAKHAR, NIRALI
We, the queers, are built diferently.
Our daughters & sons refuse to be boxed,
In your convenient binaries of zeros and ones,
We are raised to be delicate, darling,
In our drag and rage, owning the stage-
Thriving in your misplaced sense of discomfort,
Supported by our innumerable lovers.
When my queer child walks downs the street,
Draped in a saree, and a face full of makeup
Don’t for a second reduce her
To an academic discourse-
On gender identity
She is a metaphor, darling,
Of a future beyond you.
My queer child knows love & kindness,
Like her second skin.
She owns her freedom.
We, the queers, we raise our own -
With compassion that was refused
To us by families who birthed us,
By lovers, who didn’t give us the afection.
So, I raised my daughter and gave her the love She needed - an heirloom.
Denied to me by her grandmother.
I am a photographer, an educator, and a bisexual human, who is very out and very proud, based out of Bombay.
During the pandemic, I had the chance to teach some students about photography at my alma mater. Vividly remember how our college felt like a queer paradise! In a society that makes us feel invisible on most days and dirty on others, this place gave me the safety & comfort of being truly and unapologetically myself.
I wanted my students to feel the same way. Being queer and teaching a whole lot of closeted or openly- queer students was literally giving me LIFE. And yet, as it goes in teaching, it led to a whole lot of learning & unlearning. I remember the first time I misgendered a student (sadly, that did happen more than once) in
class. They handled it gracefully while politely correcting me. I am grateful to them, as they didn’t have to keep their cool. They didn’t owe that to me. But they did it anyway. It made me realize how they possibly have had these conversations many times. Correcting politely. Addressing the mess.
Rinse & repeat. Sounds exhausting, no?
It took me a couple more tries but eventually, I trained myself to be better – to consciously remember to use more gender-neutral terms while referring to my class; no more “Hey guys!” or “Hey ladies!”.
But more of -“Hello lovely humans!” and “Hey class!” That is to say, being queer does not discount you from being unaware, not being accountable for your mistakes, and/or inflicting hurt.
Asking for pronouns, or stating them, at its face value seem so simple. Yet, the matter is actually more complex and nuanced than that: especially in a society that not only thrives in binaries but also tries to force it down our throats every moment of our waking lives.
Instead of misgendering someone, let’s make it a habit to just ask. Yes, that one is actually simple.
When our time together as a class was coming to an end, I threw an online party for us to sit and chat about our very queer experiences. And, as a conclusion to that, the only two things to do were
1) show up as yourself - dress it up, dress it down, do whatever the hell you please and 2) wear your pronouns, loud & proud, emblazoned on your chest.