The Other Border
BABLU, JAVA and REISHMA are three transgenders living in the disputed territory of Kashmir: all of them are struggling, along different paths, to emancipate and have their rights recognized in a Muslim-majority and violence-affected society. Their queer status is often traditionally accepted, as MIDDLEMEN (also termed as mejimiur) in marriage matchmaking and wedding performers, and, at least in these cases family has not rejected them. But local religious bigotry and Indian military occupation push the transgender community into a crossfire zone. Bablu, the leader of the NGO supporting transgenders' empowerment, is organizing a Gay Pride Parade/Festival in the Kashmir valley, despite the risks to their lives. With the support of Java's well-known talent for protest slogans and songs and Reishma mainstream performer and family breadwinner reputation, the trio will fight to bring in the spotlight on an almost invisible struggle for freedom.