For People Like Us, Ashwini Sukthankar, New Internationalist
When reporter Ashwini Sukthankar
returned to India after years of living abroad, she was eager to
become a part of the lesbian community and promote GLBT visibility.
But she quickly learned that many of her peers rejected the idea of
separate lesbian space because it fostered an 'Us/Them' split that
organizers were working to erase. Sukthankar writes in the
New Internationalist how Deepa Mehta's controversial
film 'Fire' forced a new visibility for Indian lesbians. The film,
portraying two New Delhi women developing a relationship, was
heavily criticized, not only by the conservative right, but also by
lesbians who believed that it left out the complex emotions
conjured by engaging in taboo sexual practices. After going up
against right wing protesters, many lesbians were disheartened to
find that years of organizing had culminated in such a spectacle.
Sukthankar, however, remains optimistic, suggesting that 'rejection
is only the beginning of dialogue rather than the end.'