Subaltern Queer Cultures in the Era of Hindutva
Issues of sexuality remain inextricably linked to questions of both health and human rights. The discourses surrounding health have had a deeply contradictory impact on the human rights of “queer” people in the Indian context. At one level there is the medical discourse which, under the rubric of the International Classification of Diseases, classifies ego dystonic homosexuality as a pathology. At another level, the emergence of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, and the consequent identification of vulnerable populations such as men who have sex with men (MSM), has opened up spaces for discussion and work around sexuality. This paper by Arvind Narrain explores how such work around sexuality has brought to the fore the existence of various subaltern queer cultures in India as well as the peculiar set of issues that those who come under the rubric of queer have to confront.