Tag Archives: society

ट्रांस मीटिंग | Trans* meeting

26 Mar
क़श्ती में हमने सोचा है कि एक ट्रांस मीटिंग का होना भी जरूरी है । ये इसिस्लिये क्युकी ट्रांस लोगो के जो मुद्दे हे वो अलग है और उनके लिए भी एक सेफ स्पेस कि जरुरत हे। इसी सन्दर्भ में हमने कुछ ट्रांस लोगों से बात कि थी और उनके सामने ये प्रस्ताव रखा था कि क्या वो इस मीटिंग में आ सक्ते है और साथ में अन्य ट्रांस लोगो से मिलके उन्हे भी इस मीटिंग के बारे में बताए। मीटिंग में ftm, genderqueer, butch सब पहचानो के लिए होनी चाहिए, जो भी female  assigned at birth trans masculine खुद को मानते हे।

अप्रैल से शुरू कर के, हर दूसरे महीने एक ट्रांस  मीटिंग होगी। पेहेली मीटिंग में हमें कुछ एजेंडा भी बनाना होगा और सोचना होगा कि ज्यादा से ज्यादा ट्रांस लोग, खासकर वर्किंग क्लास लोग, को कैसे शामिल करें ।  सोचा है कि यह मीटिंग अप्रैल में 13 तारिख़, जो कि एक सन्डे हे को रखें । आप में से कोन इसके प्लानिंग का हिस्सा होना चाहते हे प्लीज हमें email डालें (qashtilbt@gmail.com) या हेल्पलाइन के नंबर पर फ़ोन करें ताकि हम अलग से प्लानिंग कर सके।

Many of us at Qashti have felt the need for a trans* meeting, since many of the issues facing transmasculine people are different from those facing cis-gendered queer women. After discussing with several trans* people we have realised that it is necessary to have a safe space for transmasculine people to meet. This meeting is open for FTM, genderqueer, butch, and all other people who consider themselves transmasculine and were assigned female at birth.
Starting in April, and then once every two months, we will host such a trans* meeting. At the first meeting we will draw up an agenda and think about ways to include more transmasculine people, particularly those from the working class. We are thinking of having the first meeting on 13th April, which is a Sunday. If you would like to be part of planning this meeting, please email us at qashtilbt@gmail.com or call us on the helpline number (see sidebar).

Qashti Talks Politics!

26 Mar

Elections are around the corner and everyone is concerned about which political party to vote for, and we are just as confused too. As queer people, as female assigned at birth, as genderqueer and transmasculine people, it’s high time we talk about why it is important to be politically conscious and to concern ourselves with not-explicitly-sexuality-related issues. What are the implications the upcoming election choices have on our lives and the linkages we try to draw between queer and progressive causes? Come join us for chai, debate and discussion with Jaya Sharma, a feminist, queer rights activist, from the NOMOre campaign. (https://www.facebook.com/CampaignNOMOre?fref=ts)
Date: Saturday, 29th March, 2014
Time: 5 pm
Venue : details to be sent out to those who confirm.
Please confirm there or write to qashtilbt@gmail.com if you plan to come. However, remember Qashti is a safe space for LBT people assigned gender female at birth. Apologies for being so strict!

SC Verdict meetings and protests

13 Dec

Max Mueller Bhavan, 6:30pm, Saturday, December 14th.

Gather to understand the judgment, talk, share, vent, come together.
This event is not open to the media — it’s a space for the community (of all genders and sexualities) to come together, discuss, think through what’s going on and where to go from here. Informal and unstructured, but we’ll have a few legal experts start by breaking down the judgment.

Spread the word! The event will be in English and Hindi with translation both ways.

Metro: Patel Chowk/Rajiv Chowk.

– Voices Against 377
Jantar Mantar, 3 pm, Sunday, December 15th.

On December 11th, 2013, The Supreme Court of India reinstated the Criminality of Homosexuality in India. This Judgment has inspired anger across different sections of society around the world. While the legal battle continues, it is important that we make our voices heard. Loud and Clear.

This Judgment is not about any one community in any one country but about the hegemonic structures that oppress many across the world. It is a blow to the various other LGBTIQ communities across the world who might have …taken strength from the Indian story to challenge laws/social norms/prejudices that criminalise homosexuality in their own countries. It is time we begin to heal this lasting scar of colonialism. It is time we are given the space and freedom to pursue the work of fundamental social change which is made impossible with a law such as Sec. 377 of the Indian Penal Code choking us.

Gather your friends, lovers and anyone else who is enraged by this injustice. Make your voices heard.

Events are happening in many cities across the world! Organise one in yours or join one that is happening!
For more details:
Global Day of Rage, Delhi: www.facebook.com/events/168797849996585
Global Day of Rage, World-wide: www.facebook.com/events/168797849996585

Another way to break the myths

26 Jun

Kyaa tumne sochaa hai ki chitron mein pyaar kaise dikhaayaa jaaye? Kisi vastu kaa chitra banaana to aasaan hai, lekin pyaar, jo ki ek ehsaas hai, use kaise chitrit kiya jaaye?” (Have you ever thought about how love can be depicted in a painting? It’s easy to draw an object, but love is a feeling; how do you sketch that?)

These are lines taken from a double-page spread in the February issue of Chakmak, a Bhopal-based science magazine aimed at children between eleven and fifteen years of age. The words were accompanying a painting by the late Indian artist Bhupen Khakkar. The painting shows two young men sitting on a couch, nestled close to each other. Each one’s limbs follow the curves of the other’s. The quiet, contented smiles of two lovers wearing identical suits speak more about love than a lot of books. As the caption says, “Ve ek-doosre se itnaa pyaar karte the ki unhone ek hi jaisaa suit pehnaa thaa.” (They loved each other so much that they wore suits of the same design) Not only is this an admirably direct attempt to confront the abstract, (as the aforementioned question about love tried to) but also to educate children about homosexuality, an issue which can enmesh children in a quagmire of half-truths and downright irresponsible myths/legends.

Read more — and see the lovely painting — here at NewsYaps.


This Saturday! Breaking the Binary with LABIA

2 May

A few years ago, several of us in Qashti heard about a study being done by LABIA, based on interviews and conversations sharing life histories with LBTGQFAB people from all over India. We’ve been eager and excited to hear about the results of these conversations for ages, and now we finally get to! LABIA will be coming to Delhi this Saturday to share their findings, carry on the discussions and answer all our questions about the study! And the icing on the cake is that we at Qashti are co-hosting the event along with Saheli — we couldn’t be more delighted! So please come, bring friends and families, enjoy some refreshing cool drinks and hear all about Breaking the Binary! Over to LABIA:


BREAKING THE BINARY: Understanding concerns and realities of queer persons assigned gender female at birth across a spectrum of lived gender identities

Saturday 4th May 2013
3:00 to 7:00 pm
at The Attic, 1st Floor, 36 Regal Building, Outer Circle, Connaught Place
(directions: in the same lane as People Tree, Kwality Restaurant etc. Nearest Metro: Rajiv Chowk)

In 2009-2010, LABIA initiated a research study based on 50 life history narratives of queer PAGFB (persons assigned gender female at birth), and aided by discussions with queer LBT and trans* groups. 11 of us (many of us members of LABIA) did the interviews, transcripts and initial analysis, and 4 of us have been doing the further analysis and writing.

Key findings have been presented at different conferences and some of the data has been published. Now we bring you the full report. Through this study, we explore the circumstances and situations of queer PAGFB who are made to, or expected to, fit into society’s norms around gender and sexuality. We look at their experiences with natal families and in school; we chart their journey through intimate relationships and jobs; we attempt to understand what happens to them in public spaces, and how they are treated by various state agencies; we discover where they seek and find support, community, and a refuge from the violence and discrimination that mark far too many lives.

Most significantly, this research has given us new insights into gender itself, which we feel are crucial additions to the current discourse in both queer and feminist spaces. Finally, the study flags areas of particular concern, and highlights some necessary interventions.

We ourselves are amazed at the richness and complexity of our findings and are impelled by the need to share these as widely as possible with all queer and feminist groups and individuals, activists and academics, all people working specifically with LBT persons as well as broadly in the areas of gender and sexuality — and of course all of us who are interested in knowing more about our selves.

So do join us for an intense, engaging, stimulating afternoon of presentations in English and Hindi, with time for questions and discussion (and most certainly for tea and snacks).

Chayanika, Raj, Shalini, Smriti from LABIA – a queer feminist LBT collective

(With Saheli and Qashti LBT)

Matargashti – let’s talk!

23 Apr
qashti trainWith the growing incidents of Gender based Violence in the city and in the country, we’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to walk down the street, use public transportation, be it metros, autos, shared tempos, cycle rickshaws, or buses as an LBT person.

  • Do you find that people stare at you?
  • Do you get physcially/verbally harassed?
  • Do you feel like you need to change the way you dress when you go out to avoid getting attention?
  • Are you comfortable travelling alone?
  • Is it difficult for you to use the metro because you dont know which queue to use (male or female)?
  • Do you feel safe travelling at night?
  • Are you relieved that you dont get male sexual attention because of the way you look?
  • Can you be affectionate towards your partner in public?

We all have experiences to share when it comes to moving about in the public sphere…our experiences are all unique because of our class, caste, gender presentation and sexual orientation.

So this Matargashti we will talk about how we feel in public places as LBT persons. Do come and share your anecdotes, ideas, stories and reflections with everyone on the 28th of April, 2013. The venue and directions will be sent in a private message to all those who confirm. Feel free to bring friends, but keep in mind, this space is meant only for lesbian, bisexual women and trans people assigned female at birth. See you all there!

The Qashti Team

Come listen to coming out stories at Qashti ki Matargashti!

25 Mar


Looks like 31st March will be a day out for LBT people. Start out with kabbadi matches organised by Sangini and then come over to Matargashti to unwind over food, drinks and fun. 

This week’s theme will be Coming Out, where we will be sharing coming out stories, experiences, dilemmas and doubts. Venue details will be sent in a private message to all those who confirm. Feel free to bring friends, but keep in mind, this space is meant only for lesbian, bisexual women and trans people assigned female at birth.

Date: Sunday, 31 March

Time: 3 pm – 5 pm

Venue:  Confirm your attendence on the facebook event and and we will message you the venue details! http://www.facebook.com/events/349867855114522/

See you all there!

Excitedly, The Qashti Team

Qashti in the News!

18 Mar

The fine folks at Time Out Delhi are the first to cover Qashti in the news! Stay tuned for more articles!

TimeOut article

Fresh off the boat

A volunteer at Qashti reveals more about this new organisation for people assigned female at birth.

“In the morning, when I pass the chhola-kulcha guy, he calls me ‘didi’; in the evening when I come back, he says ‘chhole khane hai, bhaiya?’” This was overheard at one of the “matargashti” meetups run by Qashti, Delhi’s newest LBT (lesbian, bisexual, trans) group.

Qashti describes itself as a “feminist collective for and by lesbian, bisexual, FTM trans and genderqueer people who have been assigned female at birth (LBQTGFAB).” The acronyms and political jargon aside, it’s quite simple: people are usually assigned a gender at birth, (“it’s a girl!”) but that doesn’t always match up to the gender that they actually feel they are. At Qashti, anyone who was assumed to be female at birth is welcome, no matter what gender – male, trans, female, butch, genderqueer, femme, androgynous, other, none – they are now. Not coincidentally, there are easier ways of talking about the gender options for people who were assigned male at birth: they might be hijras, kothis, queens, drag queens, as well as being transgender or genderqueer – and there are quite a few groups and spaces that recognise these. It’s much harder to find spaces that are aware of and openly welcoming of the gender options starting on the female end of the spectrum, so Qashti is hoping to remedy that a bit.

In spite of the seriousness with which they take the gender politics, Qashti’s matargashtis are informal, easygoing affairs, something like a support group crossed with a board game house party. Discussion veers easily from which pronouns people want to use for themselves to a recipe for cake, mishti doi, dhokla; to someone’s memory of being caught kissing a girl in the school loo (“we both said ‘sorry ma’am’, I don’t know why!”) to the rules of Uno, all accompanied with chai and chatter. There is no set meeting space; the events so far have been at private houses, public parks, and borrowed organisational spaces. There is no charge for anything, but people are encouraged to bring snacks or, since the collective is non-funded, give donations.

The matargashti meetups are fun and badly needed, but people often also have serious troubles that they don’t want to talk about openly in front of a group. So over the course of the year, Qashti also plans to start a helpline for LBQTGFAB people and  their issues. It will run for two days a week, and will be staffed by volunteers trained in feminist principles and counselling techniques. As well as providing counselling, they will act as a resource centre, giving references to services that people might need, like queer-friendly doctors, lawyers, psychologists, other support groups, meeting spaces and so on.

The helpline will start in June 2013, and will involve outreach to as many different types of people and organisations as possible, across classes. In addition to LBT organizations, Qashti plans to reach out to women’s groups, NGOs working in bastis, and to a wider audience via print media, pamphlets and stickers in public places with contact information. There is such a need for support and resources for LBQTGFAB that it is very hard to rein in the wish to do everything, and just try to do a few things well. Ideally, there would be many more such spaces, helplines, shelters and resource guides!


Qashti ki Matargashti is next on Sunday, March 31st. The date has been changed from the 24th because too many people are out of town for the holidays around Holi and Good Friday. 

The same old questions….

28 Feb

So here we talk on behalf of people who are female assigned at birth but identify as lesbian, queer, bisexual, genderqueer, transgender and many other colours of the rainbow.

All of us must have been bombarded with questions like “when are you getting married”, “you should think about settling down now”, “ how long will you be leading this kind of a gypsy life” etc from well-meaning colleagues, bosses, acquaintances. Friends and relatives say “don’t you have a boy friend? If you have someone in your life tell us, we will speak with your parents”. Parents will try hard to make you feel guilty for not being a “good” ‘daughter’. Here’s a short, irreverent look at how we sometimes tackle these questions 🙂

strip 3strip 2   strip 4strip 1 strip 5

How have you handled these questions in the past? Share your answers and funny stories with us in the comments!