Mumbai: TISS gay community slams personal attack by student on queer member

Mumbai: Days after the Supreme Court legalised consensual gay sex, the LGBTQ community of Mumbai- based Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) has alleged that a student passed certain unpleasant remarks against one of its members.Such a behaviour does disservice to the cause of creating a safe space for students, the ‘Queer Collective’ group of gay members at the TISS said in a statement issued Tuesday.

The group alleged that the comment was directed at the cultural secretary of the students’ union during a gathering last Friday. “The personal attack by a research scholar included references to the person’s family, caste and economic background,” the statement said. “There was lack of acknowledgement of the student’s identity as an openly queer person, besides using an aggressive manner of speech and violently occupying the space and disrupting scope for meaningful engagement,” it said.

The alleged remark was passed during a students’ general body meeting organised for making various budgetary allocations, sources said. “This is a classic case of cisgender heterosexuality oppressing people who do not bow to the binaries of gender,” the Queer Collective group said in the statement. “We firmly believe that such behaviour does disservice to the cause of creating a safe space for students for practising their politics,” it added.

TISS officials were not available for comments on the matter. Notably, the Supreme Court ruled last Thursday that consensual gay sex is not a crime, and struck down a British era law that it said violates the right to equality. Parts of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which criminalised consensual unnatural sex, are “irrational, indefensible and manifestly arbitrary”, the apex court said in its historic ruling that made India the 26th country in the world where homosexuality is legal.

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