I wrote about the ‘Write to Reconcile’ project in Sri Lanka for the November 2019 edition of Teacher Plus. My objective was to explore and show how creative writing has been used as a tool to build bridges between people from communities with a history of conflict. Here is an excerpt from the article: The three-year project … More Write to Heal
I love meeting teachers who know that making their classroom a safe and affirming place for LGBTQIA+ (queer) students is part of their job. However, this awareness may not translate into a priority because most teachers in the world are overworked and underpaid. Priya Dali and Pooja Krishnakumar have created a fun and friendly zine … More A teacher who openly advocates for queer students makes a big difference.
What do LGBTQIA+ people mean when they speak about allies? “An ally is a person who is a member of the dominant group who works to end oppression in his or her own personal and professional life by supporting and advocating with the oppressed population,” writes Shruti Venkatesh in the beautiful new e-book, How To … More What does it take to be an ally? Hear it from this LGBTQIA+ rights activist
(Here is an excerpt from the article ‘To preach or not to preach?’ published in the March 2019 issue of Teacher Plus.) Let me narrate to you an episode from a conference I attended recently. I was speaking with a sexuality educator, who gave me a detailed picture of the curriculum he is expected to … More To preach or not to preach?
(Here is an excerpt from an article titled ‘Body Politics in the PE Class’, which was published in the May-June 2019 issue of Teacher Plus.) Is the body some kind of neutral thing that is objectively understood, bereft of history, and readily available for training? What happens when a student’s body is not able to … More Body Politics in the Physical Education Class
Nemat Sadat is an author of Afghan heritage who lives in the United States of America. He identifies as gay and ex-Muslim. His incredible openness in talking about love, racism and geopolitics moved me as much as the characters in his novel The Carpet Weaver. The book was published earlier this year by Penguin Random House … More Crushing the taboo on homosexuality: An interview with author Nemat Sadat
In July 2019, the Bangalore-based White Swan Foundation for Mental Health published an e-book titled Mental Health 101: LGBTQIA+ Edition. It is a useful resource that has been diligently put together for readers who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, or as belonging to the wider LGBTQIA+ community, or as allies. I … More A mental health resource for the LGBTQIA+ community
This is the second part of my interview with Dr. Ketki Ranade, Assistant Professor and Chairperson at the Centre for Health and Mental Health at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai. They prefer to be addressed as KP, and use the pronoun ‘they’. If you are in the process of unlearning conventional pronoun … More There is no one way of being queer: On straight-passing, queer labour and stigma management strategies in India
In February and March 2019, I was part of the inaugural class of the Mariwala Health Initiative’s Certificate Course in Queer Affirmative Counselling Practice in Mumbai. We were a group of mental health professionals, social workers and educators who had signed up to learn about queer affirmative practice, which is geared towards supporting clients who … More Coming Out in India: Questioning Western Psychological Models of Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Identity Development with Dr. Ketki Ranade
“As we search for the latest technological advances to increase our effectiveness in education, we can neglect the fundamental need for a school to be a safe and welcoming place for children to learn and thrive….The most common response among young people who feel unsafe is that they close themselves off from others. In a … More The School as Refuge for LGBTQ Students