You’re always told you can’t be queer and a politician. That needs to change says creator of Pink List.


There’s a rainbow wave sweeping the country this time with a record number of LGBT individuals in the poll fray. A young trio comprising Anish Gawande, a Columbia University graduate and director of the Dara Shikoh Fellowship, journalist Devina Buckshee, and freelance designer Smriti Deora have banded together to create the Pink List, a guide to candidates who have publicly supported queer rights. Gawande, 22, talks to Mohua Das about their resolve to lead change by making queer issues a political imperative. The Pink List is an archive of statements made by all candidates supporting LGBTQ+ rights. This isn’t an endorsement of these candidates or their ideology. Candidates who support LGBTQ+ rights are not necessarily inclusive on other axes of marginalisation — including caste, class, religion, and even all spectrums of gender and sexuality. We’re hoping that the list serves a dual purpose: It’s a starting point for queer people who want to enter politics as well as for academics and activists navigating the contested terrains of queer politics in India today. The list has to be critiqued, criticised, questioned, and built upon for it to be relevant.

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