Beyond the Gender Binary

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In India, Hijras (officially recognized as the third gender since 2014) have long been the recipients of a discordant variety of treatments from the population. Traditionally, they are sought for blessings during religious ceremonies and auspicious occasions. However, they are frequently victims of violence, discrimination and downright disdain in everyday life. Much like the wider LGBTQ community, Hijras struggle to be accepted and integrated in mainstream society.

The medium is the message

Alliance Française de Bhopal recently provided a platform for several artists to express their views on the third gender through the exhibition Beyond Gender and Sex. Twenty four beautiful works of art were presented at the AF Bhopal Gallery from May 13 to May 17 May to lend their support to the community. The paintings, photographs and poetry on display attempted to showcase LGBTQs in a different light. While some photographs highlighted the beauty of transgenders, others exposed how the community suffers silently in contemporary Indian society. The exhibition received a lot of appreciation from the public because of the important social message it delivered.

Some of the artworks on display at the exhibition

Some of the artworks on display at the exhibition

Beyond Gender and Sex was part of Central India’s first ever movement on freedom and equality for the LGBTQ community. The event had many other activities like Nukkad Natak (street play), flash mob and JAM session which took place all over Bhopal. These events culminated in the Pride Parade on May 17 which also marks the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia. This Pride Parade marks a new era in Indian history as it was the first event of its kind in Madhya Pradesh. The response was heartwarming and many different age groups participated for the cause. Nearly 300 people from in and around India visited Bhopal to participate in the event.

The Pride Parade at Bhopal

The Pride Parade at Bhopal

After the Parade, a plethora of events were organised to embed the message of awareness and inclusivity. These included music performances, poetry recitations, Shayari and a talk by Kalki Subramaniam – a prominent Transgender rights activist, author, actor and entrepreneur. The Deputy Director of State AIDS control society Sunila Sharma also addressed the crowd and talked about how vulnerable the community is to diseases like AIDS. The initiatives culminated around the beautiful lake with a message of gratitude, love, and acceptance by the organizer Kokila Bhattacharya and her team.

Marching with Pride!

Marching with Pride!

Kokila Bhattachary (Bhopal Pride Committee) and

Subhor Dubey (Public Relations Officer, Alliance Française de Bhopal)

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Rédaction

Directeur de publication : Délégation Générale de la Fondation Alliance Française en Inde et au Népal

Rédacteur en chef : Laurent Elisio Bordier

Rédacteur/Coordinateur national : Siddharth Bhatt

Rédacteurs, contributeurs : Guillaume, Abhirami, Alexandre, Chintan, Cléa, David, Eleonore, Elie, Kanika, Karine, Nita, Thomas, Malvika, Marie-Joëlle, Meera, Mayuri, Mitushi, Alice, Prutha, Romain, Ritika, Manas, Supriya ...