To mark the 2nd anniversary of the Supreme Court judgement on Indian Penal Code Sec 377, Xukia- a LGBTQI Collective in Assam organized a QUEER MIC on Dec 15, 2015, opposite Nehru Park. With an objective to voice the rage and angst on the regressive judgement, the Collective used the medium of a Queer Open Mic where people could sing, recite poetry, share experiences as a form of dissent and protest.
Although Xukia had initially planned the Queer Mic for Dec 11, which is exactly two years since the judgement was made in 2013, unfortunately, due to IPC 144 being imposed in Guwahati the event had to be postponed.
LGBTQI rights are still a trivialized issue in the context of the northeast. To add on to this, the SC verdict on Sec 377 further has increased the level of violence and atrocity towards the community. Since Decemeber 11, 2013 when the verdict was out, several cities all across have been organizing the Global Day of Rage (GDR). Guwahati city too witnessed the first GDR in 2013, which was also one of the first public demonstrations for rights of sexual minorities and people with alternate sexualities. The Queer Mic was organized to mark the Global Day of Rage and to demand for equality, for human dignity and for freedom: freedom from oppression, from discrimination, from violence and freedom to live, love and individual choice.
The gathering saw a representation of youth, mostly from colleges and universities, queer allies and also people from the community. Noted author, actor and media personality Dr. Akashitora Dutta attended the programme and also read out extracts from her book on homosexuality titled ‘Nixxidho’. The evening saw an amalgamation of sharing personal anecdotes, discussion on government inaction as far as the legal mechanism is concerned, poetry recitation in English, Hindi as well as Assamese, reading out erotic extracts to discuss questions of desire, choice, sexuality, recitation of queer feminist poetry etc.
Xukia also announced the next Pride Parade that is scheduled to happen on Feb 7, 2016 in Guwahati. The Collective calls for solidarity and pro-action from all quarters- civil society organizations, academia, common people on issues of sexuality and also urged all to voice up against the barbaric colonial law that marginalizes a certain section of the population. The event came to a close with sloganeering of ‘377 QUIT INDIA’ and singing of ‘We shall overcome someday’.