Mumbai: After the historic verdict by the Supreme Court to scrap Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) that criminalised homosexuality, India has become the first-ever country to have a gender-neutral hostel. Yes! You read it right. The Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) in Mumbai’s Deonar has become the first campus in India to have a gender-neutral hostel. This comes after the efforts by Queer Collective, an informal student body advocating a safe space for LGBTQ+ students.
Speaking to ANI, Akunth, Cultural Secretary on TISS student Union and a resident of gender-neutral hostel space expressed his happiness for having a gender-neutral hostel and voiced his hope that other hostels would follow the move too and become the gender-neutral space. He also hoped that the move can bring about a great social change.
Akunth, a first-year student of TISS said, “It’s just like any other hostel. It is a place for everyone but without the dysphoria of being segregated along the lines of gender. It is a liberal space.” Akunth added that the gender-neutral washrooms are now also available in the campus.
At least 17 so far students have moved into the ground floor of the girls’ hostel which has been marked as a gender-neutral space. The floor has 10 twin-seater rooms that will host transgender, or gender non-conforming students. The decision was taken after the Supreme Court’s historic verdict to scrap Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) that criminalised homosexuality in India. The order was passed on September 6.