The Queer Media Collective (QMC) is a group of professional journalists who aim for a more balanced treatment of gay, lesbian and other queer issues in the Indian media and entertainment industries.

This is a recent initiative. We had our first meeting in Mumbai late last year. We now have a list with members in Delhi and Bangalore as well.

Our first initiative is the Queer Media Collective Awards 2008.

16 responses

22 04 2008
Joseph Antony

My heartfelt congratulations and gratitude for your efforts in recognizing and rewarding those in the media that keep the queer issue in spotlight. I wish you best of luck and greater recognition in future. We need more voices like yours from within the community.

3 05 2008
Vishal

The Queer Media Awards is an immensely commendable effort. What you people have inseminated now, will soon grow up to be something very, very huge. All the best!

27 06 2008
Muraleedharan

Yet another gay couple opts for a suicide pact, while the judiciary and the government of India dither on Section 377:

Youth and Student immolate themselves

A youth, running a barber shop and his friend, a student, have been discovered dead due to burns in a rented house.
Sivanarayanan (32), from Perumbilavu in Trichur, presently residing near Ajantha Theatre in Pandikkudi, Mattanchery (Kochi) and Deepak (17), son of Srikesh, R.G. Pai Road, are the deceased and their badly charred bodies were spotted in a room of the rented house Sivanarayanan had been occupying. The incident seems to have taken place at around 3 am on Thursday (26th). Both the bodies have been completely burnt. Police recovered a petrol can from the precincts. Police assumes that the two, who were intimate friends, had committed suicide together.
Deepak’s family had been objecting to his relationship with Sivanarayanan. As a result, Deepak had even attempted to run away from his house a few days back, says the police.
On Wendesday, Deepak had been watching TV till 12 at night and must have sneaked out after that to go to Sivanarayanan’s house. Police added that he had even created a human shape on his bed with a pillow and covered it with a blanket to avert the suspicion of his family, before leaving the house.
The police come to the conclusion that the trauma caused by his family’s discovery of his unnatural relationship with Sivanarayanan must be the reason for his suicide. Sivanarayanan, who came from Perumbilavu to Kochi a few years back, had been running thee Barber shops in the city.
(Mathrubhumi, 27th June 2008)

27 06 2008
Madhur Singh

Hi guys, I’m a Time magazine reporter based in New Delhi. Working on a story on Delhi’s first Queer Pride this Sunday.

Can you help me speak to someone who can comment on whether and to what extent LGBTQ issues are being more openly discussed today? Also, how is the media – news, movies, etc – dealing with such issues, and is that changing. My mobile is 9818081877.

Madhur

4 07 2008
AJ

Hi, I’m a film maker from New Zealand and I’m currently developing a script on a transgender individual growing up in India. I’m looking to travel to India in January/February 2009 to do some research and I was hoping to connect with those in the know. If you could help in any way I would greatly appreciate your time and advice. Please email me at the address I supplied.

Sincere Regards,

AJ

18 07 2008
Sidd

Hi.

I want to congratulate you for pulling off the pride parades in Delhi, Kolkata and Bangalore recently. My heart aches for the kind of stigmatization and de-humanization that members of the gay and lesbian community in India face every day, from self-appointed moralists, police as well as through ignorance in the general public.

I’m a straight Indian male who doesn’t live in India. But I fully support equal rights and liberties (including marriage and the right to adopt and raise children) for members of the gay and lesbian community. Also, as someone who’s very literate about civil rights and liberties in the US, I have a couple of questions that I hope you might be able to answer:

1. It is heartening to see that journalists from NDTV and evidently, CNN-IBN as well, are doing their part to devote fair coverage for gay and lesbian issues, staying away from base, ignorant “freak” insinuations that our movies love to make.

But on one of the documentaries that received the QMC award for ‘Best Documentary/Film with a Social Message on Queer Issues’, at 0:42 seconds,

being gay was implied to be a CHOICE. I’ve seen this on a couple of other occasions too, from sources that were definitely well-intentioned towards the gay community. What do you make of this?

First of all, it is factually incorrect to represent sexual orientation as a choice. Maybe, just maybe, you can get away with calling the ‘gay lifestyle’ a choice, although that’s still a stretch.

Besides being factually incorrect… well, most laws supporting equal rights for gays, in Western countries, have successfully passed because they were fought for and argued on the premise that one’s sexual orientation is not a choice and hence society cannot justifiably discriminate against it.

On that topic, don’t you also agree that “sexual orientation” would be a much more effective word than “sexuality”, in the semantics of arguing for gay rights and equality?

2. Talking about sexuality and sexual orientation, in India, gay and lesbian rights issues are often grouped with issues of rights and liberties for transgenders (commonly, “eunechs”). In the recent pride parades, for example. While I honestly believe that both groups of people are very disenfranchised and deserve as much legally guaranteed rights and liberties to live freely and happily in society, just like the ‘rest of us’, I think that the stigma against transgenders and transvestites might be much more complicated (and maybe more widespread and cruel.. thanks to our movies and also because as a transgender, one doesn’t even have the ability to pass off appearing “normal”, to “fit in”, when cornered) than what I can perceive gays and lesbians face in India.

For this reason, do you think it might be more pragmatic to divide the issues and mount two, separate, better nuanced, better defined, well-argued civil rights movements for the two groups? (Aren’t their social realities dramatically different as well?)

Because in our Indian climate of already confused, repressed ideas that can’t clearly distinguish between sex, sexuality, sexual orientation and sexual identity, the uninformed mind, I fear, can easily be lured to lump everything that’s not the straight and narrow together in one category of “freaks” to conveniently prejudice against. That’s my concern.

I would really appreciate it if you or some here who might be interested in these questions could respond to me. These, to me, are very pertinent concerns to the aim of equality and civil rights for gays and lesbians in India.

My fingers are crossed for the repeal of the retarded homophobia-institutionalizing section 377 of the constitution of India, when it goes to courts this month. I will be that much prouder of my country the day it’s struck down.

Thank you.
Sidd

30 09 2008
ruby dhingra

Hi..
i am writing this here as i did not know how to get in touch with people associated with the QMC. this is regarding a show on NDTV about the youths opinion on gay rights. It is happening on 02.10.08.. anyone in Delhi who wishes to participate in it and voice their opinion can mail me at rubyd@ndtv.com.
It is not a panel discussion. It is more like an informal interaction of people coming from different backgrounds interacting on the issue.

2 10 2008
vikram alias sandesh

hello ruby,
nice to hear an issue which encircles lives of so many people who dont know what prospect they have in indian cultural scenario.

gay people can not open with their sexuality as it is still a taboo in india to talk about men who have sex with men.

centre for disease classification and prevention i.e. CDC ,usa has deleted homosexuality from psychological dosorder.

so we need to open our mind and talk of our choice in life.once fallen victim of marriage with a girl,will the person not spoil 3 lives and many more families.

so is the fear of hiv and aids harbouring while hurrying to satisfy the physical need ie unsafe sex practises where condom availability is absent and sexual gratification is needed as early as possible.if we talk of legalising gay relation we will put a safe groung for people to decide their choices and follow a hetero or homo relation.
all we are men in flesh and we need someone to care, may be a men or a women.why should be a compulsion to a man who is not comfertable with a women?
yes ,gay people needs rights within certain limit to play it safe and it shouldnt affect a multicultural indian society.

dr.vikram alias sandesh
sandesh1998@gmail.com

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20 10 2008
Kalki

The Queer Media Awards is a great effort that has to be lauded. It is very important to recognize the media whichever is supportive of the LGBT community. However in India, the LGBT community needs to have a strong and powerful voice through its own medium such as magazines, newsletters and Television channels, a powerful LGBT Indian portal on the internet and local regional language publishers and TV channels.

This will create a big change in the country.

7 12 2008
Victor

Right on! More material on this website would be greatly appreciated. Greetings from Canada!

23 03 2009
John Simpson

FYI, an investigative report I’ve recently completed on the Gay Holocaust in Iran. Over 4000 innocent Iranian gays have been entrapped, brutally tortured and slaughtered to date. And it’s much worse now under Ahmadinejad.

Here’s the byline and link:

IRAN’S GAY-FRIENDLY EXTERMINATION PROGRAM

http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/269565

You remember President Ahmadinejad of Iran saying at Columbia U. that there are no gays in his country? He’s doing everything inhumanly possible to make that statement an insane reality. It is, in fact, a Gay Holocaust in Iran. And it is happening as we speak.

Please spread the word. The only way to stop this abomination is to bring it out of the shadows and into the harsh share of world public opinion. This brutal anti-gay pogrom in Iran offends every civilized sensibility I have, and I’m straight!

Use info as you see fit. Pirate at will.

Best, Johnny Simpson.

20 04 2009
Neha Lall

Dear Sir/ Madam,

I am a post graduate journalism student in London and will be doing an indepth research paper about the Gay/ Lesbian community in India. Along with doing my masters, I am also a freelancer for Al Jazeera English.

I am hoping to speak to one of the representatives from your organization regarding the work you do, the progess made over the few years with regard to Article 377. And also general sitgmas and difficulty’s faced by the minotiry group.

2008 saw the Gay/Lesbian community come out in full force across the country and put a face to the voice often not heard.

I look foward to hearing from you and taking this discussion further. Please do not hestitate to get in touch with me regarding any queries you may have.

Warm Regards
Neha Lall

28 08 2009
Prof. Shivaji Panikkar

Dear Madam/Sir
I would like to initiate a national level Queer Research and Documentation Center, the scope of the proposed Center on the one hand will be a concerted and comprehensive effort in archiving queer histories that enable theoretical and empirical research. On the other it is imagined as a move towards the direction of promoting, instilling and disseminating critical thinking and creative skills among the queer population.

I am desperately looking around for a seed grant that will enable me start off the research and documentation, if not for the entire project, at least for a small area with in the larger proposal.

A proposal for the Center is ready – and, if anyone can guide me where i can apply for fund support, i will be be greately obliged.

Sincerely
Shivaji K Panikkar
Baroda.

31 08 2009
nitinkarani

Hello Prof. Shivaji,
You are being sent an email about your comment.
Cheers,
Nitin

15 10 2009
Marc Shaw

Hey, I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say GREAT blog!…..I”ll be checking in on a regularly now….Keep up the good work! :)

- Marc Shaw

26 11 2009
craig bellamy

Thanks for your initiatives in Delhi.

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