In the times of social media, books continue to hold their ground as a tool to raise awareness and combat social issues. Authors have continued to yield a pen to fight injustice. Educate and inspire. Help change the world. One page at a time.
Use your voice and platform to raise awareness about a cause you feel strongly about. Right from its inception in 2019, Blogchatter‘s #CauseAChatter campaign has been at the forefront to help raise awareness about social causes.
The theme Blogchatter has chosen for this year is Inclusivity – when nobody is left out. Inclusivity is a broad range topic that encompasses gender, mental health, disability, and a lot more.
All through 2021, I shared a series of book recommendations across a range of causes. Feminism, Mental Health, and the Environment. I am continuing the series in 2022 with my pick of the categories offered this quarter – Gender Identity, Disability, and Discrimination. As always, I will be sharing recommendations for Indian books. Lesser-known books that are a must-read.
Gender Identity: Must-Read LGBTQIA+ Non-Fiction Books
Gender Identity is my first pick for the CauseAChatter campaign of 2022. And we cannot talk about gender without discussing the sheer discrimination the LGBTQIA+ community faces every single day.
India has a vast and brilliant collection of LGBTQIA+ literature. From the grand lady of Indian literature, Ismat Chugtai’s Lihaaf to the underrated graphic novel Kari by Amruta Patil. More and more authors from the community are coming forward to share their experiences to help smash the taboos. But when still have a long way to go before we have an inclusive society that does not discriminate.
Today I share with you my picks of the must-read LGBTQIA+ non-fiction books. A collection of diverse writing that empowers and inspires. By no means an exhaustive list and does not include memoirs or autobiographies. I will be sharing my recommendations for them soon.
Same-Sex Love In India: A Literary History
Edited by Ruth Vanita & Saleem Kidwai
Indian queer or LGBTQ+ literature is often considered relatively new. Contrary to that, it dates back to over 2,000 years. In fact, it is the taboo associated with it that is recent.
Same-Sex Love In India: A Literary History consists of excerpts from stories, poems, letters, biographies, and histories in fifteen languages. From ancient epics (the Mahabharata) to religious texts (the Rig Veda) to contemporary and literary fiction.
I would highly recommend the Lambda Literary Award Finalist. And Love’s Rite: Same-Sex Marriage in India and the West by Ruth Vanita too.
No Outlaws in the Gender Galaxy
by Chayanika Shah, Raj Merchant, Shals Mahajan, Smriti Nevatia
‘Why are you a woman?’. This seemingly innocuous question sparked intense discussion and laid the foundation for No Outlaws in the Gender Galaxy.
The gender binary is shaped by families, education institutions, media, religion, socio-political, and the medical system. The book explores the concept of gender analyzing the lives of 50 queer PAGFB (People Assigned Gender Female at Birth). How gender plays out in both public and private institutions, including family units, schools, offices, and public spaces.Gender Identity & India – Must-Read LGBTQIA+ Non-Fiction Books @CindyAnnDSilva @nooranand #BlogaberryDazzle #BohoPonderings Click To Tweet
Sex and the Supreme Court:
How the Law is Upholding the Dignity of the Indian Citizen
by Saurabh Kirpal (Editor)
At 12.12 p.m. on 6 September 2018, the Supreme Court of India created history by reading down Section 377.
Sex and the Supreme Court offers insights into each of the crucial rulings. It includes writings from several legal luminaries such as Justice M. B. Lokur, Justice B. D. Ahmed, Justice A. K. Sikri, Mukul Rohatgi, Madhavi Divan, Menaka Guruswamy, Arundhati Katju, and Saurabh Kirpal. And also from petitioners Ritu Dalmia, Keshav Suri, and Zainab Patel. From issues that affect the transgender community to Muslim law in the modern context and above all, the fundamental concept of dignity.
This book is not to be missed.
Queeristan: LGBTQ Inclusion in the Indian Workplace
by Parmesh Shahani
While we accept it or not, diversity and inclusion in workplaces are often mere tokenism. Something that is about being benevolent and “offered”. Inclusivity needs to be a lot more than that.
Queeristan: LGBTQ Inclusion in the Indian Workplace is a path-breaking and genre-defying book where the author draws from his decade-long journey in the corporate world as an out and proud gay man. He makes a case for LGBTQ inclusion and lays down a step-by-step guide to reshaping office culture in India.
Queeristan is a part of the soon-to-be out-of-print Westland catalog. Do pick it up if you haven’t already.
Queer Activism in India: A Story in the Anthropology of Ethics
by Naisargi N. Dave
Queer Activism in India examines the formation of lesbian communities in India from the 1980s to the early 2000s. An ethnographic research conducted with activist organizations in Delhi, a body of letters written by lesbian women, and research with lesbian communities and queer activist groups across the country.
The book explores how existing social norms and conditions give rise to activism. How activism is often labeled as disruptive but is a critique and ethical practice. Challenging social norms, inventing alternatives to those norms, and putting them into practice.
Because I Have A Voice: Queer Politics In India
by Arvind Narrain (Editor), Gautam Bhan (Editor)
Compulsory heterosexuality is often considered the norm in India. Ostracizing and criminalizing those who do not conform.
Because I Have A Voice: Queer Politics In India is an anthology of 27 essays by scholars, activists, and journalists challenging the rights of others to script their lives. To question the social, cultural, and political bias. The voice of a community that refuses to be silenced anymore. One that refuses to be labeled unnatural.
This is a book that deserves more love.
What are your favorite LGBTQIA+ non-fiction books by Indian authors? Do share about them in the comments below.Gender Identity & India – Must-Read LGBTQIA+ Non-Fiction Books @blogchatter #CauseAChatter #Inclusivity #LGBTQ #BookChatter #BohoPonderings Click To Tweet
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