For People Like Us


| November 13, 2000

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.'
--Amanda Luker
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