Gender, Sexual/Other Identities in the Eastern Himalaya

499

ISBN 978-81-89602-13-0

This inaugural volume frames questions of identity and belonging in the Eastern Himalaya from the perspective of Gender, Sexual and Other Identities which are often embraced, even celebrated, and yet simultaneously rendered invisible, essentialised and understood through narrow frameworks of pre-existing (and often hypocritical) societal norms. This volume aims to fill in an academic lacuna, whilst simultaneously challenging staid approaches of reading, analysing and writing about the region and the issues within. The volume represents both the dynamism and stillness that is visible and experienced by those in/from the region; while some chapters capture the changing expressions,
experiences and understandings of gender and other identities, others invite us to reflect on our stories, words, actions, and society.

The chapters in this volume examine how our intersectional identities are experienced, expressed and performed. In doing so, it recognises, analyses and even challenges prevailing norms and perceptions on Gender, Sexual and Other Identities in the eastern Himalaya, as we know it.

This inaugural volume frames questions of identity and belonging in the Eastern Himalaya from the perspective of Gender, Sexual and Other Identities which are often embraced, even celebrated, and yet simultaneously rendered invisible, essentialised and understood through narrow frameworks of pre-existing (and often hypocritical) societal norms. This volume aims to fill in an academic lacuna, whilst simultaneously challenging staid approaches of reading, analysing and writing about the region and the issues within. The volume represents both the dynamism and stillness that is visible and experienced by those in/from the region; while some chapters capture the changing expressions,
experiences and understandings of gender and other identities, others invite us to reflect on our stories, words, actions, and society.
The chapters in this volume examine how our intersectional identities are experienced, expressed and performed. In doing so, it recognises, analyses and even challenges prevailing norms and perceptions on Gender, Sexual and Other Identities in the eastern Himalaya, as we know it.

The Eastern Himalaya Series
In the Eastern Himalaya, place, space, identity and belonging, all seem to be in a state of flux, midway through a process of becoming. The Eastern Himalaya Series is a response to these transformations, an attempt to navigate our path into the future whilst cataloguing our different ways of belonging to the region. Through this Series, we strive to capture the dynamism of the people, place, and politics of/in the region; we strive to showcase our ability to engage with wider thoughts and processes and to tell our stories, ourselves.

The Eastern Himalaya Series aims to contribute to the creation of a framework that celebrates different ways of imagining, reading and belonging to the region. Belonging, however, is a difficult and sometimes, controversial word, emotion and experience. Who gets to belong to the Eastern Himalaya? Who gets to decide? What are the repercussions of belonging, or even desiring to belong? How does one form of belonging affect our other identities and belonging? What are the markers of belonging, especially if they are liminal? Belonging is difficult to mark and measure when boundaries are fluid and shifting. However, fluidity is juxtaposed with fixed, and sometimes archaic values, ideas and ways of being, and seeing the world. The Eastern Himalaya Series can therefore be considered an attempt to acknowledge this inherent juxtaposition, a moment of taking stock, a collective pause to assess changes, and stasis, to identity silos of commonality and sources of resistance.