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The focus is on interacting with other women,” she says.Ma Faiza and other queer organisers and club-goers have been lying low since Section 377 was upheld by the Supreme Court of India in December 2013.
She talks quietly and slowly, taking her time to say exactly what she wants to say – not at all sounding like a person who’ll say “wild things,” as I had been told she would – “But you absolutely have to talk to her.”Ever since the deadly shooting at Orlando’s gay club Pulse, I’ve seen friends on Facebook share posts in solidarity, trying to start conversations about gay clubs that are safe spaces, places where everyone is comfortable being themselves, whether they are lesbian women, gay men, or trans.
Ma Faiza hasn’t organised a party since Q Nites in Mumbai in 2011 – “Where out is in,” the poster said – when Section 377 was not in place.
She talks of that last event fondly, saying that it was open to everyone: queer people as well as straight women and men who were just curious about attending.
One immediately wonders if the club Pulse was also such a space of comfort and curiosity for the victims that night.
Amrita, a software developer and graphic designer, was one of the people who joined All Sorts of Queer (ASQ), after they broke off from We’re Here and Queer! ), a Bangalore-based support space for lesbian, bisexual, and transgender women.
For Ma Faiza, known as one of India’s most trendy queer DJs, such safe spaces are a big deal.