Why Is There A Separate Term For Queer Rights? It Is Human Rights: Artist Durga Gawde
- IWB Post
- December 6, 2018
Twenty-four-year-old sculptor and performance artist Durga Gawde identifies as a non-binary gender-fluid person. Gawde prefers being regarded as ‘they’, and not as ‘he’ or ‘she’.
“I sometimes feel like a man, sometimes like a woman, and I can shift from one identity to another in a matter of minutes,” they said. “I can sense the switch. When I feel like a man, I am more aggressively focused on what I want to do, but when I feel like a woman I am more nurturing and instinctively compelled to think of others as a priority.”
They recently shifted to Bengaluru to “move away from everyone so I could actually get to know the real me.” They are accustomed to the stares and judgment that people reserve for them because of their appearance.
“I travel in local trains all the time and I am used to it. I often see a sudden non-verbal conversation erupting between people when they look at me and then at each other. There are days when I still struggle to deal with all of it and wish I was back in the US. Someday, I’ll go back and teach at my college, the Rhode Island School of Design,” they added.
But as of now, they want to do much more in India. Currently, they have teaching assignments in art colleges and elaborate performances like the three-hour solo in Goa where they had a mustache and put on bright lipstick and drag king acts at clubs in Mumbai. “I wore my dad’s olive-green suit for my last act in Delhi,” they shared.
When it comes to romantic relationships, Gawde tends to avoid them. “I’ve had wonderful bonds with both men and women, but all these constant shifts in hormonal surges don’t make me exactly easy to live with,” they said.
Another topic that riles up Gawde is the subject of LGBTQ rights. “I dislike that term. Why should there be a separate term for the rights of queer people? It is f****** human rights!” they said. “I want to make a difference here.”