‘Walking the Walk’ by Moses Tulasi documents the journey of the participants of Hyderabad’s Swabhimana [self-respect] Queer Pride March that was held in February 2015. Set in the backdrop of the agitation that followed after the brutal murder of Pravalika, a transgender, the movie brings out the struggles of the LGBT group that sets out on a march during Bonalu [Telangana’s flower festival ] to fight for justice and equal rights.
Speaking about the movie, Sadhak Navadeep, a social activist, and a transgender queer noted that it reflects the violent rejection of the alternate sexuality by our society. “The way the LGBT movement has been presented by the media is very elite and upper class. Class and caste have often been ignored in the LGBT community”, he added.
Drawing inspiration from the recently successful movement for Telangana, the film succeeds in reflecting a similar form of agitation and spirit within the LGBT group. Dealing with the stigma surrounding the transgenders in our society, the narrative introduces the viewers to the various forms of harassment and assault that the transgenders are subjected to.
When asked about the confusion and ignorance attached to the LGBT, Navadeep pointed out the unnecessary need of people to box identities. “The problem with people is that they want to have a start and an end to every identity. It has to start with an ‘L’ and end with either a ‘T’ or a ‘Q’, but what they do not understand is that the whole idea of queerness is a continuum. There is no end. Identities cannot be defined and boxed as it has always been done in a patriarchal society.”
Navadeep however, did not seem very happy about the Supreme Court recognizing transgenders as the third gender. He questioned, “What is third gender? Where is this terminology coming from? If a man is a first, a woman a second and a transgender a third, you are drawing a hierarchy in the name of numbers. Then who is 4th, 5th and 6th? Is it a form of rat race that we are in? This is something that the government has totally ignored and no study about the community apart from the limited resources that they possess have been made. What about the rights of the other transgender people who are not a part of the Hijra gharana community?”
Nonetheless, Navadeep did acknowledge the Hyderabad Literary Festival as a platform for the unconventional. “For me Hyderabad Literary Festival is largely mainstream, but the efforts that are being put into bringing the non-mainstream into the conversation and dialogue is interesting and important. This is something that needs to be appreciated and cherished. It really makes a lot of difference.” He concluded.