Individual Rights

It's about time we retire some redundant rhetoric about queer rights. In 2015, why are we still trying to sanitize and insist that queer rights is about "individual rights and not about sex"? What individual rights are we talking about which don't constitute the magnanimous gamut of systemic social issues revolving around sex alone?

Are we talking about the individual rights of the privileged who are happy to contain their sexuality within the confines of four walls just because they are able to afford privacy?

Are we talking about the individual rights of the cisgendered, who were not born with a gender identity that is pasted on their faces and bodies, which subsequently prevents them from availing any "respectable" job and seek sex work as the last resort of livelihood, even if the profession itself is rife with all kinds of abuse of power at the hands of everybody else, not to forget the widespread social admonishment?

Are we talking about the individual rights of those who don't have to live everyday clutching hard at the autonomy over their own bodies knowing that it can be so easily taken away; or are we talking about those who have the privilege to find, sustain and flourish "love", enter a "respectable" monogamous relationship and never have to be worried about being disgraced, ostracized and abused for possessing a non-monogamous life of "promiscuity" while being called a slut, whore, randi, and so on (and be further objectified and violated, because you know, promiscuous individuals don't have any claim to consent. They are fair game for all and sundry, right?)?

Are we talking about the individual rights of those who never have to bear the brunt of being the sexual partner who prefers to be penetrated, a preference which has been symbolically, figuratively, literally and verbally used for ages to subjugate and overpower the powerless? "Gaand maar doonga.", "Maa chod doonga"; "Bhen chod doonga".

Sex is omnipresent beyond sexuality everywhere you go, every single minute of our breathing consciousness. So why shy away from it now and say it's not about sex? They never shied away from systematically using it to show us over and over again how they have always held power over us. Isn't queer rights about reclaiming these powers that are rightfully ours but were never granted to us? What aazaadi are we talking about, if we can't talk about liberating ourselves from the most basic ways our identities and our bodies are being controlled and oppressed through sex alone for generations now?

3 July 2015
College of Art, Delhi - 2008

It was 2008, around the time for Delhi's very first Pride. I did this as part of a college assignment. The front of the t-shirt said "Define Normalcy", while this was the back. I even got my friends to write quotes on it. While it was fun indeed in that moment, the corniness of it only dawned upon me a few years later. I learned it the hard way, it's not all about love. Far from it.

30 something, trans* graphic designer from Delhi with many a things to be said, though much ado 'bout nothing