ASSERTION OF QUEER IDENTITIES AND COMPLEXITIES WITHIN FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS: AN ANALYSIS OF FIRE, MARGARITA WITH A STRAW AND EVENING SHADOWS
Queer characters have enriched the world cinema, and of late, Indian cinema is doing its bit by portraying characters such as sexually vulnerable Other, the outcast covert case, the transgender exile, the revealed woman and the bisexual refugee. Indian society is a heterosexual one, wherein contradictory sexual identities do not gain traction. A person’s open assertion of his/her contrary sexual orientation is often pigeonholed or labeled as Western. This paper seeks to shed light on how assertion of queer identities creates complexities within relationships by taking up three movies for analysis. In Fire, the repressed feelings of two married women take shape in the form of a physical relationship, thereby drawing ire and condemnation from their families. On the other hand, Shonali Bose’s Margarita with a Straw narrates the tale of a cerebral palsy afflicted woman, whose disclosure of her sexual identity creates strains in the ties between the mother and the daughter duo. Sridhar Rangayan’s Evening Shadows highlights the tribulations faced by a conservative mother in South India, who finds it difficult to stand up to a rigid society because of her son’s queer identity. The movie showcases the conflicts in the perception of sexual identities of two different generations. This paper attempts to discuss how explicit disclosure of queer identities dents family relationships.