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Mission Statement

14 Aug

What is Qashti?

Qashti is a queer and feminist collective of lesbian, bisexual, trans*, queer and intersex/intergender (LBTQI) people assigned female at birth. Through organizing a wide variety of social events and running an LBTQI-focussed helpline we work to build an intentional social space and resource center for LBTQI people. Qashti was founded in 2011 and is based in New Delhi.  

Mission

Qashti is an intersectional feminist social space and resource center for lesbian, bisexual, trans*, queer and intersex/intergender (LBTQI) people assigned female at birth. We are a collective of LBTQI people that bring attention to the specific complexities of LBTQI life in India. We seek to create an alternative platform to rights-based activism, in order to make room for LBTQI community-building, wellness and play. As a group, we aim to enact a feminism that learns from other social justice movements such as anti-caste movements, trans- and sex workers’ movements, in India and globally. We seek to serve our LBTQI communities reflectively and responsibly.

Guiding Principles

As a collective, Qashti’s work is guided by certain principles through which we link our activities and vision to larger questions of social and economic justice:

  • Collective functioning. Qashti is dedicated to collective action and decision-making. This is with the awareness that LBTQI people have not historically had, and do not currently have, access to institutional spaces. We work as a collective and share our resources in order to enhance the sustainability and self-sufficiency of LBTQI communities.
  • Queer and feminist practice. We recognize the urgent need for an intersectional queer and feminist practice that challenges patriarchy and the multiple ways it affects us as LBTQI people in India. However, we are also mindful of feminism’s and the queer movement’s own entanglements with nationalism and caste, class and gender hierarchies. Hence, we seek to further discussions on and create LBTQI spaces that cut across these differences. To this end, we aspire to make meaningful connections with other social justice movements (specifically the Dalit, trans, and sex workers’ movements), and hold ourselves and our work accountable to their critical perspectives.
  • LBTQI. Qashti is a space dedicated to lesbian, bisexual, trans*, and queer people assigned female at birth. While we recognize that not all trans* people identify as female-born, we use that term to indicate that we exist as a source of support for those people who were/are seen and socialized as female. We aim to address the unique issues faced by such people both in larger society and in the national LGBT movement. The legal battle for decriminalization of homosexuality, as well as the NGO funding to combat AIDS in India, have led to a focus on gay male or MTF lives. Qashti sees the need to create a space for the people who were not historically granted access to these resources, but who face their own considerable battles with misogyny, homophobia and transphobia.

    To be clear – At this point, Qashti’s membership only includes people assigned female at birth, but we are committed to fighting misogyny and gender-based discrimination across identities. Thus we seek to be supportive allies to the empowerment of transwomen, MTFs, genderqueer, hijra and kothi communities in India and globally.

  • Funding. So far, Qashti has been supported financially by the LBTQI community we are a part of. We use funds for our events and meetings and to operate our volunteer-run helpline. We are committed to remaining independent, non-corporate and non-politically funded, so that we can make the needs of our community, and not the needs of our funders, our only priority.
  • Sex-positive. In the current context of increased government censorship, we are committed to creating a judgment-free space that celebrates LBTQI sexualities. We are a sex-positive group that supports everyone’s right to access, practice and speak about their bodies, sex and desires. We understand that LBTQI sexual liberation is tied up with the liberation of other criminalized groups. We stand in support of sex-workers’ rights to live without stigma and violence, and to work for fair pay.

Qashti uses these principles as touchstones to guide our decisions about what causes and activities we put our efforts towards. We aim to work with and learn from others who share our commitment to these principles.

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SC Verdict meetings and protests

13 Dec

COMMUNITY MEETING AND DISCUSSION
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
GLOBAL DAY OF RAGE – NO GOING BACK!!
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

Announcing the helpline

25 May

Confused about your sexual orientation?

Worried about your gender identity?

Need somebody to talk to?

Need information on queer life?  

PhoneWe are just a call away!

9711282081

9711282307

Qashti is excited to announce its helpline,

starting on June 1st

Wednesdays (from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm) and on Saturdays (from 4:00 om to 6:00 pm)

Thank you and Matargashti

21 May

Thanks to your support, the fundraising party was a great success! We had a brilliant time laughing, talking, dancing, eating doughnuts and dinner, and washing it all down with a variety of beverages. We also raised Rs 5000 from the night, which will go towards Qashti expenses. We will put up a full report of our expenses and fundraising till date very soon!

kitesNow, after the fun of the fundraising party, the next matargashti is here! So get yourself geared up for more fun, talks, games, laughter this Sunday. Meet friends, make new friends!

This safe space is open for all LBT and genderqueer people who are female assigned at birth. We will send you the details of the venue once you confirm you are coming, either on the Facebook page, or via phone at 9711282307. See you there!

Love,

The Qashti Team

Image

Sweet and accurate

7 Mar

Sweet and accurate

Welcome!

20 Feb

Qashti is a feminist non-profit, non-funded collective for and by lesbian, bisexual, FTM trans and genderqueer people who have been assigned female at birth (LBQTGFAB). This group was formed by a group of friends and aims at providing a safe space for LBQTGFAB across socio-economic classes in the Delhi/NCR area.

Twice a month, Qashti hosts informal events where people can meet, share stories, watch movies, discuss issues or just have fun. We meet regularly on the first and third Saturday/Sunday of each month to accommodate those who may have family or/and work commitments on weekends.

Qashti will also run a helpline for LBQTGFAB with counsellors trained in feminist principles of counselling. This helpline will be launched in June 2013.

We’d love to hear from you, network with you and be included in your events, so please email us at qashti.lbt@gmail.com. You can also reach us on facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/qashti.lbt Hope to hear from you soon!