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Queer Infocus | October I ’19

Queer InFocus is a bimonthly roundup of queer news in India.

Hyderabad: ISRO scientist killed by gay sex partner who blackmailed him for money

October 4, 2019

ISRO scientist Suresh Kumar was found murdered in his apartment in Hyderabad on October 1 of this year. The 56-year-old scientist, who was a technical expert at the National Remote Sensing Center, was being blackmailed for money in return for sexual favors. Following an investigation, his killer was apprehended.

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Queer Garba makes Navratri an inclusive affair

October 6, 2019

A Bhilai based Dandiya organisation group organised Queer Garba recently. Dilbar Dandiya is known for organising themed nights for navratri. Many members of the LGBTQIA+ community joined the event. As the big projector on the venue kept showing colourful pictures from the Raipur Pride, the LGBTQIA+ members draped in colourful attires danced joyfully to the tunes of Garba.

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Miss Trans Queen India crowns its third winner – and the prize is cosmetic surgery

October 7, 2019

In its third year, the Miss Trans Queen India pageant crowned its winner Neetu RS, a tattoo artist from Bangalore. As the latest winner, Neetu received a beauty treatment voucher and a free surgery offer from a clinic in Gujarat. Reena Rai, the founder of the pageant, explained how the pageant was more than just a competition. According to her, the pageant is a way to show the participants and the transwomen of the country that they are more than their beauty, and that they are agents of change who are also representative of their community.

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Varanasi man betrayed, shoots gay partner

October 10, 2019

The Mughalsarai police have arrested a man after he opened fire on another, with whom he has allegedly had a homosexual relationship with. The accused reported that he was upset after coming to know of his partner cheating on him with other men and women. The partner sustained injuries but survived the attack.

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Mumbai University’s first registered transgender graduates

October 11, 2019

Mumbai University’s first “recognised” transgender student Sridevi is now a graduate degree holder. She had enrolled for the university’s Institute of Distance and Open Learning (IDOL) four years ago. Last month she graduated with a double major in sociology and psychology. She has now enrolled for a Masters in Psychology at Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU). Sridevi said that she is preparing herself to answer online queries of her trans sisters and people who wish to know how she handles her academic stress.

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Prove your gender, police tells molested Mumbai transwoman before filing FIR

October 13, 2019

A transwoman who tried to file an FIR against her molester was first told to prove her gender. The woman, who shared the incident on social media, said the GRP at Mumbai Central first asked her to provide her gender certificate before registering her complaint and even called for female police officers to get her medically examined. Two hours after submitting her certificate, the police registered an FIR and proceeded to arrest the accused.

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Kerala govt to fund training of Adam Harry to help him become India’s first transgender pilot

October 13, 2019

20 year old Adam Harry has received the support of the Kerala government in order to become the first transgender pilot of the country. He has obtained a private pilot license and wishes to pursue a commercial pilot training. Disowned by his family, Harry was able to change his fortune after contacting the Social Justice Department, who asked him to apply for a scholarship through the Transgender Justice Board which got sanctioned and he joined the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Aviation and Technology.

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Transman anchors Malayalam news show

October 14, 2019

Jeevan TV’s telecast of its weekly roundup, ‘Azhchavattom’ with Hrithik as its news anchor opened the doors for the first transman news presenter in the history of the state. ‘Azhchavattom’ has been a trans-positive show, with it being presented by transgender persons for more than a year now. Hrithik is the first transman to present the show. Subitha Sukumar, news editor at Jeevan TV, said the concept for Jeevan TV came after she did a piece on the transgender community.

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Gender minorities, supporters walk with pride in Coimbatore

October 14, 2019

Coimbatore recently held a pride march in the city, which came after a gap of over ten years. Organised by the Sahodari Foundation, the Rainbow Pride March saw over 60 people in attendance. The march was held to primarily support gender minorities in the country. The march was originally scheduled to be held on 24th August but was postponed after a terror alert was issued in Coimbatore.

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Sheer Qorma first poster out; Swara Bhasker and Divya Dutta come together for a beautiful ode to love

October 14, 2019

Faraz Arif Ansari’s Sheer Qorma has released its first theatrical poster. The poster, which has already generated a buzz, shows the leading actresses Swara Bhasker and Divya Dutta, in a heartfelt pose, holding hands with smiles on their faces. The release date of the film is as of yet undeclared.

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Comment: News reporting needs to be much more respectful than what it is now. The concept of deadnaming should not be an alien concept when reporting on news regarding the trans community. The first half of the month has otherwise been a time where the queer community has been able to receive the support and attention it deserves. However, issues such as the non-cooperation of police still exists and serves to prove the harmful effects of the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019.

Aditi Paul is a Research Associate with the Queer Resource Center at One Future Collective.

One Future Collective