Letter from Editor - Radhika Chandiramani

Welcome to this issue of In Plainspeak.

We celebrate the positive decision of the Delhi High Court on reading down Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, with pictures of the 2009 Pride Parade that took place just four days before the decision was read in court. Thanks to Aditya Bondyopadhyay for sharing his photographs with In Plainspeak.

We are pleased to bring to you the voice of Shireen Pervin Huq in an extremely thought-provoking interview. In a fascinating account, Shireen tells us about the politics of language, and of how in the beginning, ‘important men’ spoke on behalf of the women’s movement in Bangladesh, rather than women themselves! It is thankfully, a very different Movement now.

From Bangladesh again, Adnan Hossain questions whether homophobia is the only way to explain the oppression of people who do not conform to gender and sexuality norms. What happens when ‘homophobia’, class, Islam, and rights meet?

Against the backdrop of the furore over sexuality education in India, Veronica George muses on why it is needed. Highlighting one of the many reasons why sexuality education is crucial not just for young people but also for those supposedly taking care of them, this time’s Issue in Focus is incest. An anonymous contributor writes about her experience of and recovery from it. We also have the I column focus on child sexual abuse from a slightly different angle. Child sexual abuse (CSA) is often assumed to be a heterosexual act. Here is a brave account of same sex child sexual abuse by Pranaadhika Sinha who runs an NGO on CSA and incest awareness/support.

Germaine Trittle P Leonin reviews a book of lesbian short stories, essays, and poems from the Philippines and Bishakha Datta reviews a film on a very special relationship between a young man and a life-sized anatomically correct doll. No, not the kind that you are thinking of!

We are grateful to Pratibha Singh for allowing us to use her art works. There is an interesting story behind them.

Please do keep sending in your contributions and feedback to resourcecentre@tarshi.net.

Stay well, loved, and happy.

Radhika Chandiramani