Prijith P.K., president of Queerythm, a community-based organisation for LGBTIQ people, says many non-binary individuals may identify themselves wrongly, as there is little awareness of non-binary
It was around three years ago that 35-year-old Harry Harris understood they (one of the pronouns used by a single person whose gender identity is non-binary) were non-binary – people who do not identify within the traditional gender binary of male or female.
Till then, it was a struggle for Harry. “In my childhood, I never understood what was happening as I had not seen any gender expression other than male or female.”
Though too young to have any gender identity, Harry had gender expressions that did not fit within the man/woman binary. However, without any visibility for non-binary people in society, the possibility of non-binary was incomprehensible. Adolescence, particularly, was a very confusing time. Harry says non-binary people here may realise their gender identity quite late owing to the lack of non-binary representation in society, be it in families, books or films, unlike in many foreign countries. But for a diverse country such as India, there are an equal number of, if not more, people with varying gender identities, he feels. However, there is little acknowledgement or acceptance of this diversity, and non-binary people fail to be seen.
Harry, a co-founder of Queerythm, a community-based organisation for LGBTIQ people, says that only after the collective was registered and meeting people and listening to people’s experiences did they get clarity on gender identity. “Only by relating with them can non-binary people identify their gender identity.”
Prijith P.K., president of Queerythm, says many non-binary individuals may identify themselves wrongly, as there is little awareness of non-binary. Even within the LGBTIQ community, there is little understanding of gender fluidity.
Queerythm, he says, is launching a week-long programme on creating awareness on non-binary people within and outside the LGBTQ+ community and ending the discrimination faced by them, coinciding with International Non-binary People’s Day that fell on Wednesday.
Writer Lasar Shine and poet Adi was set to kick-start the programme with a conversation on ‘Non-binary representation in literature.’ On Thursday, Queerythm member M.K. Balamohan will give a talk on ‘Introduction to non-binary gender.’’
Chithira Vijayakumar, writer, will give a talk on non-binary sexualities on July 16. On July 17, Harry Harris will talk on discrimination faced by non-binary people. Lebin Thathapally will speak on ‘Process of identifying non-binary coming out’ the next day. Paras Dogra and Ritu will converse on family support for non-binary people on July 19. On the last day of the programme, Jasmine Jai will speak on ‘Love and life of non-binary people.’
The programmes will be held on Google Meet at 7 p.m. on all days.
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