Sunday, February 3, 2013

Classroom Stories III

A Call for Equality

On Saturday, 2nd Feb, 2013, I was nervous. My students were to attend the Queer Azaadi March and I had a slight possibility that I would not be around. But thanks to Sangeeta, Mansi and Harrish, my amazing friends, who were there with the class throughout the march. Sharing below some of the responses they shared during a reflection session next day – 

“LGBT March was not such an extraordinary thing, but it had several messages about US... I observed that most people were gay but they don't look any different. It is WE who differentiate them from us. I saw that they were happy of accepting the fact that they are who they are. They were proud to come on to stage and accept that they are lesbians, gays or transgender. I was not feeling awkward because everyone was so friendly and enjoying the march.” – Male, 15 years.

“Main chahti hoon ki hame jeetna unke (LGBTQ) baare me pata chala, sabko pata chale. Kyonki sab log jo unhe dekh kar haste hain wo kabhi unhke upar nahi hase aur unki feelings samajhe.” – Female, 17 yrs.

“First when I reached I thought I couldn’t get mixed into those people. But as soon as Harrish Bhaiya arrived, he called all people on the stage to share experiences. People who had gathered around also took interest from a distance. His performance was absolutely amazing on the stage. He encouraged people to say the slogans along. He had a great team to collect the garbage from the march. I have never been to march before. I walked till the end of the march. I observed foreigners were marching too. I will never forget this experience in my life. They were all willing to show themselves to a society which will not accept them.”- Male, 18 years.

“In this march, I enjoyed very much. There, everyone was enjoying, screaming, shouting, laughing, etc. I like the march because I the way it was done. I was new for me because it was not like a soldier march where we have to be serious and walk properly. This march was different. When I was marching with gays, lesbians, transgenders, homosexuals I thought – Taro Maro same chhe, isiliye prem chhe. Prem chhe. Proud to be me!” – Male, 16 yrs.

“Waha dekha maine ki jo gay log aaye the unke mummy daddy ko unpar sharm nahi balki bahut garv ho raha tha. Jitna unhone enjoy kiya march me, utana hamne bhi kiya. Aur un logo jo dressing kit hi wo mujhe bahut achchi lagi. Un logo ne humse friendly baat ki. Aur ek baat thi ki mujhe unme se ek jan bahut achcha laga. Wo itana khoobsuruat tha ki agar wo straight hota to main use propose maarti.” – Female, 15 yrs. 

“I was shocked to see their parents and relatives supporting them. Some of the transgenders introduced their daughters. I also noticed that they respect all people and don’t differentiate between genders. We must enjoy all days of our life with each other!” – Female, 16 yrs.

“May be their style is different, but they are like us. They are also human and we are also human. It is important to have a cute smile of being human. There were people (watching from outside) who were seeing gandi nazar se. I realized even I used to do that before. Yesterday, I realize how wrong I was.” – Male, 16 yrs. 

“It was a new experience for me. It was difficult to identify who was straight and who were not. Harish Bhaiya was so nice. He didn’t make us feel that we were strangers to him. I distributed the news scripts to the people. Not only gays were comfortable but other people who were marching as well.” – Female, 16 yrs.

“the best thing was there were also parents who were supporting their children march.” – Female, 16 yrs.

“kal hame bahut achcha laga. Main to pahle jaate hi Harish bhaiya ko hi dhoondh rahi thi. To maine itana dhoondha ki wo mujhe mil gaye. Hame milne ke baad bahut saari baate ki. Jo dusre log aaye they unse bhi friendship ho gayi.” – Female, 14 yrs

I couldn’t not have done a classroom session any better than what participating in this march has done for these students. In their innocent but generous reflections, they have questioned the way we live as society. The point is, are we listening? When my teenagers can get it, why the hell it doesn’t get into the adult minds?

To read other classroom stories, please visit:
A Matter of Choice 
Power of a Right Feedback