This is Raju Behara, a Greysexual gender queer poet/writer, working in making medicines safe and helping the capitalistic pharma overlords make money from them.
Being queer has largely shaped my politics and how I view the world around myself and unlearn my savarna worldview., at least partially. To this end, I love to read poetry, and essays, both political and fictional. Audre Lorde, James Baldwin have helped me understand why we need a community, a queer thread that holds us together while we are shattered and broken from forces outside.
Starting from my closeted existence back in 2009,in Hyderabad when I first heard Hoshang Merchant talk about his lover in the times of war, to Queer Campus Hyderabad, to the days in 2017. Being out of the closet in Bangalore, actively being a part of Queer Reads, Shabda, Bangalore pre Pride events led me to a strong support system, and my poetry led me to allies in Poetry in the Park, a safe space to discuss and discover intersectionality and queer identity over Lorde’s poetry and Maya Angelou’s verses.
I have had my life literally uprooted from under my feet thrice since I started living by myself. Having faced housing discrimination twice, and workplace homophobia, my journey was very formative to my trying to unlearn the privilege that I held, in a rainbow lens of my queer self. I firmly believe in creating safe spaces, engaging in conversations that give us this sense of camaraderie and usher in peace. I hope my journey with AIQA will be learning and enriching one.