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I Was Threatened By My Profs When I Came Out On Campus And Started A Queer Collective

If you are queer, then you are threatened on a daily basis that you cannot come and open up, you cannot dress in a way you want to, you cannot express yourself the way you want to

They slut shamed me. They questioned my gender, they questioned my identity, they name called me and they harassed me in the best possible way.

So, hello everyone. My name is Arnab and I go by the pronouns he/him/his. And today I would like to share my experience as a gay person in college and the effect and the problems which a person or which a queer student might face and are facing currently in colleges and in esteemed institutions like the university and other universities and colleges.

When I joined college, I was a closeted person. So at that point of time, I had friends who were supportive of the queer community. But after I came out, those people tried to understand the community. They unlearned the misconceptions and learned how to treat the community members in a dignified way. And that’s how my friends and my peers understood the community and tried their best to be a good ally.

But the faculty and admin was a completely different story

Whereas on the contrary, the teachers, the professors, they were extremely queerphobic. They slut shamed me, they misgendered me, harassed me in the best possible way. And the main reason was that I started a queer collective in the college so that the queer students can have a platform where they feel safe. The problem of the teachers was the queer collective, because “it is against the cultural heritage of the country”! They literally called me and told that I am “polluting the college atmosphere by promoting a western agenda”, and “gays and bisexuals and queer students don’t exist”!

These profs also conducted a session called Understanding LGBTQ Issues, where they termed queer as not normal. When I questioned them, they threatened to suspend me.

So this is the kind of atmosphere which colleges in DU are having nowadays, where if you question someone, you are threatened with suspension. If you are queer, then you are threatened on a daily basis that you cannot come and open up, you cannot dress in a way you want to, you cannot express yourself the way you want to. And this is the kind of atmosphere which the college professors are promoting.

The teachers who understand and are allies are systematically silenced

And on the contrary, those teachers who understand the queer issues, who understand queer students, are not allowed to take a stand. They are being shut slowly and steadily.

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So this is the kind of atmosphere which the college is having. College where we should feel safe, where we should feel welcomed, is the place where queer students are being threatened. And this is on the contrary, that students are nowadays coming out in support of queer students.

Teachers should become supportive role models – what is this?! Teachers who should make the atmosphere for the college a safe place for students, irrespective of their sexual identities or gender identities, are making the place a battleground for queer students.

We need better gender and sexuality sensitisation on campuses

I personally believe that gender and sexuality sensitization is a must nowadays because then such type of stereotypes and such type of thinking can be stopped. It is also a need where you can understand the queer students and you can understand what to say, how to say and how to approach them. It is a necessity, which I feel because the Delhi University is slowly and steadily turning into a battleground for queer students, where they are being threatened not only physically, but also mentally.

They are being pushed down in such a way wherein societies and clubs present in Delhi University, they are not given the opportunity, they are not given the position, they are not given the due respect of an individual. Where they are treated equally, they are treated indifferently each and everywhere within the college.

Misgendering someone, and this kind of discrimination is not Ok.

I firmly believe that people should be aware at least of the basic community issues, so that they can help their fellow queer mates in their day to day life, because it is extremely traumatizing for a queer person to face such trauma on a daily basis on a basic level. So this is the story, unfortunately, of my college in the university.

There are many stories in every college and every institution in the university, like it varies from one place to another. So stay safe, be yourself, and happy pride to you all.

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