Megha Nandi: LGBTQIA+ Activism
In this article, Megha Nandi introduces herself and describes her advocacy on behalf of the LGBTQIA+ community. She can be found on Instagram @megha_nandi
I work for LGBTQIA+ rights as an activist, representing a multiplicity of identities and issues. I document and expose abuses based on sexual orientation and gender identity worldwide, including torture, killing and executions, arrests under unjust laws, unequal treatment, censorship, medical abuses, discrimination in health and jobs and housing, domestic violence, abuse against children, and denial of family rights I advocate for laws and policies that will protect everyone’s dignity.
I started challenging gender norms at very young age. I came out in year 2017 after attending my first pride: Lucknow Awadh Queer festival. My family and friends were really cool about it. I was privileged, As an out person I somewhere felt kind of responsible towards society, to generate awareness to have that change I need, I started sensitising and educating people about LGBTQ+ to the society, trying to remove the misconceptions attached to the community and encouraging queer people to accept themselves.
Today, homosexuality and queer identities may be acceptable to more Indian youths than ever before, but within the boundaries of family, home and school, acceptance of their sexuality and freedom to openly express their gender choices still remain a constant struggle for LGBTQ+ people.
Social media and corporate initiatives have created increasing awareness of LGBTQ+ rights but, still, people face discrimination against their sexual and gender identity. For example, many are forced to suffer murder, corrective rapes, being disowned by family, shock therapies, physical abuse, bullying, etc. The decriminalisation of Section 377 was a landmark judgement for India, but there's still huge progress to be made, even after that. Judicial reform may create an enabling platform to come out, but social realities don’t necessarily change in sync. Therefore, the battle must be fought every day of our lives. There is no Marriage law, we can't adopt and go for surrogacy, we can't donate blood, there's no security benefits as a heterosexual couples receives, no law for any kind harrasment against queer person because of their sexuality and gender.
Fighting the heteronormative society is a challenge, but I'll keep working for a world where all people can enjoy their rights fully.