A Queer Dialogue

Dec 2, 2022

As the rains lashed the Mumbai city, a bunch of university students were busy planning another of Young India Foundation’s signature events, one that would be super young and super woke. These youngsters for the Mumbai Chapter were undeterred in their efforts to organize a brilliant event. The youth is majorly concentrated in their respective educational institutes. Where they are the most receptive and open to dissonance.

Where new ideas are welcomed, whereas the older ones are waiting to be repackaged or questioned. Keeping this in mind, Young India Foundation planned a workshop for the students of Usha Pravin Gandhi College of Arts, Commerce, and Science. This workshop entailed a series of sessions; each session focused on addressing a topic and these topics were carefully picked bearing in mind the current context and environment.



The first session was called ‘A Queer Dialogue.’ The session was facilitated by Mr. Anish Gawande. The speaker, Mr. Anish Gawande, is the co-founder of Pink List India which is an archive of Indian politicians who support LGBTQ+ rights. The session was meant to shed light at the various injustices faced by the LGBTQ+ community, in addition, it was also an attempt to sensitize and prioritize the contribution of the youth in the same community. Throughout the session, Anish spoke of multiple instances where queer folks were able to create impact beyond their individual interests. The talk showed us how one person was able to inspire the representatives to push for better and more inclusive legislation.



For an audience that was mostly media students, Anish discussed how inclusivity in the content production process is key in creating more responsible media content. Furthermore, he explained that it was naïve to believe that the mere decriminalizing of Article 377 was enough to undo the exclusion. Even after the supreme court verdict, the Queer people have continued to face discrimination at their workplace, which impacts their right to live with dignity. Therefore, it is essential that those who are aware should participate in creating inclusive spaces for the LGBTQ+ community.

The realization that it doesn’t take herculean actions to bring a change was an epiphany for most of us. Instead, it just requires a simple and a thoughtful considerations/re-considerations, like hiring LGBTQ+ employees in every department, inviting queer speakers, artists, remarkable individuals while organizing panel discussions and events to bring inclusivity, and normalcy.

As the session concluded, the audience was curious and buzzing with questions. The audience passionately shared their experiences, opinions, and ideas towards the cause. The discussion was vibrant which showed the concerned and engagement of the youth with the contemporary issues and struggles of/in the world. The event, a straight-out success, came to an end with everyone huddled in small groups, making plans to change the world but one idea at a time. The room which was full of 20 odd students but numerous ideas is the reason for Young India Foundation’s growth by leaps and bounds.