HYDERABAD: Over the past few years, conversations about various gender identities and sexual orientations, and their inclusion, have improved a lot. But the work is far from over. While the queer community continues its struggle against societal discrimination on a daily basis, there is little awareness of prejudice within the community. “The biggest fight that a pansexual or bisexual person has is with the LGBTQIA + community, versus the rest of society,” says Patruni Chidananda Sastry, expressionist dancer, folk singer and drag artist based in Hyderabad, who tells us about his story. history of being. discriminated against being pansexual.
Pansexuality is a term to describe sexual, romantic, or emotional attraction to people, regardless of their sex or gender identity. Underneath there is an array of sexualities that belong to the multisexual spectrum (Mspec) such as bi-curious, homo-romantic, pomosexual, autosexual, polyoma, omnisexual and androsexual, among others.
Patruni was born as a man and identifies as a pansexual non-binary person. One fine morning, Patruni woke up to numerous Instagram posts and mentions, which triggered their anxiety about the genre. “These messages were from a drag artist from another country. They disqualified my identity as a queer person, presumed me to be homosexual, and accused me of hiding my homosexuality by choosing a partner of the opposite sex. It was the 100th time someone had questioned my gender identity and dismissed my entire pansexual existence. It was heartbreaking, ”Patruni says.
For a long time, pansexuals have been treated as minorities and face mockery and stigma because of their orientation within the LGBTQIA + community, they say. “People assume drag artists are always gay. They assume that if a man does not apologize for his femininity, he would be a monosexual homosexual. People assume that my pansexuality is invalid or that a phase or me is not serious, ”they say.
Upon introspection, Patruni realized that pansexuality is barely understood. They found that pan / bisexuals were still viewed as outcasts, compared to people who identified as gay, trans or lesbians. Pansexual people face discrimination from both heterosexual and queer spaces.
Apooh Mahi, a Hyderabad-based dancer and social media influencer who identifies as a bisexual woman, said: “When I became bisexual, there were a lot of questions. Some people thought I do it because I’m an influencer, but they barely knew that humans don’t have control over our hormones and our sexuality. It is therefore as natural as heteronomy ”.
“Pan / bisexual erasure has been experienced by 9 out of 10 pan / bisexual people and most of the time the erasure comes from people on the spectrum,” Patruni explains. Xen Aerat, an artist and performer based in Hyderabad, believes it all comes down to ignorance. Lack of knowledge creates fear and subsequently defense, anger and hatred.
“The world is only now subject to awareness of the multiplicity of sexual / gender identities and there is immense pressure to initiate millennial conditioning. There is a lot of power in raising awareness where there is a lack. And in most cases, a lack of awareness usually comes with ridicule, defense, lack of acceptance, rebuttal, anger, rejection, hate, ”they say.
“I believe society is resuming conversations about acceptance and inclusion of LGBTQIA +. It is high time to push some love towards the multisexuality spectrum community too, as if their life seems to be all rosy, there are immeasurable thorns rising towards their acceptance. Pansexual / bisexual people are as valuable as any other human being and we need to do some soul-searching into their preferences, choices and visibility, ”Patruni said.