By Ishani Chakrabarti
They dance, they jive and indeed have the time of their lives. Meet the trans Dancing Queens!
Dancing Queens is the first ever transgender led dancing troupe founded in 2009 as part of Queer Azaadi Mumbai. It was initiated by Abhina Aher, Urmi Jadhav and Madhuri Sarode; three transgender individuals who also belong to the “hijra” community.
It was on the 15th of April, 2014 that justices K.S. Radhakrishnan and A.K. Sikri officially recognized transgender and eunuchs as the third gender. This was pursued to not only put an end to the endless discriminations but also give them a ray of hope to start afresh, breaking free from shackles of prejudices.
But here’s the question you ask yourself – how much have the conditions really changed? Growing up in a country like India, you’re forced to have a set of pre-conceived notion regarding the hijra community. You’re instilled with either fear or abhorrence towards them as a kid and you grow up to succumb to them.
The term “hijra” is associated with certain negative connotations which one cannot overlook without expressing their extremely biased opinions about them. All of us have done it at some point or the other in life merely because they don’t fit into any of the “commonly acceptable” gender categories.
These dancing queens right here lashed back at the various discriminations. They “broke through the boundaries formed by words”. They conveyed their message using the medium of art and won hearts!
Through their dance pieces and sensitive choreography, the Dancing Queens disclose what it means to identify as transgender in India, the obstacles faced by the community and the kind of prejudices prevailing over them.
“Dance is not just an art, but a forum for social justice and inter-gender understanding.”
Choreographed numbers and spoken word performances will embody the encounter of triumph in achieving personal freedom and family acceptance, and address some of the ways they pursued to produce “real, tangible change”.
It’s not just about dance. It’s about coming together of several lives despite the struggles they encounter on a day to day basis. It’s not simply about performing on stage; it’s about jubilantly celebrating the struggles.
They’ve managed to not only overcome several barriers pertaining to their personal lives but they’ve come together to put an end to these problems faced by the transgender community all over the world.
From the time they were struggling for meals to the time when the Mumbai audience cheered and applauded for them, they’ve indeed come a long way. They just made it bigger by showcasing their talent on the biggest platform to stage the dreams and talents of many.
The Godrej Group has been working to become more inclusive of sexual minorities. The company has been organizing events to discuss gender and sexuality through its Godrej India Culture Lab project.
This initiative not only empowers the transgender communities within India but also abroad. There are several videos of the dancing queens online which once shared will spread like wildfire. It’s the 21st century we’re living in, if we don’t use technology now, when will we?
The dancing queens are well versed with the challenging journey that lies ahead and there’s more to what they want to achieve for the community.
Through their thoughtful choreography, the Dancing Queens embody, promote, and fight for the rights of everyone to be “who they want to be and love who they want to love”.
They fight and struggle for not mere acceptance but employment opportunities, a support system for transgenders all over and also for those who don’t work anymore.
Dancing Queens, conquer the world with your charm and for each step that you take, we’re all with you!
Picture Credits: Google Images
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