‘Their’ suicide letter
DOI link for ‘Their’ suicide letter
‘Their’ suicide letter book
This paper examines how death is instrumentalized by the Indian queer movements to demand queer rights from the Indian nation state. Taking the suicide of a subordinate caste lesbian couple and its audiovisual documentation by a queer collective as its departure point, the paper interrogates the politics of representation of queer identities in India. The joint suicides of the women become the exemplars of why queer rights are urgent. The finality of their deaths means that any access to their life worlds is impossible but their deaths continue to be the minefields of value, both as evidence of queer victimhood as well as justification for the need for queer rights. In other words, the two women are simply defined by the event of their deaths. While rights discourse demands that there be a harm which can be redressed by the nation state, this paper asks what foreclosures does the spectacularization of the harm, in this case queer death, demand? Finally, how might we or is it possible to imagine queerness differently?