Vihaan Vee has always been dedicated to his pursuit of a better world. Weighed down by the current state of affairs worldwide, Vihaan spoke to us about the legal and societal wrongs that most minorities in India face. After years of working as part of the trans movement, Vihaan is now professionally working in the climate crisis space.
An Ambedkarite, Vihaan uses logic and scientific reasoning to portray how specific laws are detrimental to communities like sex workers or trans people and immaculately describes how our country's foundation - the constitution is being violated today. He elaborated on how bills like the Surrogacy Bill, Trafficking Bill, and Trans Act directly affected the livelihoods of sex workers and the trans community and took away their rights to their bodies, livelihood, and other fundamental rights. Vihaan stresses how excluding these communities from the process of governance and policymaking has had a direct consequence of a slow but steady erosion of consent. Vihaan's ability to switch from being calm, sweet, and shy when talking about himself to unconsciously adopting a strong voice when speaking about national issues showed his intrinsic patriotism.
The kind of jobs offered to trans people are not respectable jobs in our society.
Even when sharing about the minority community, Vihaan clarifies multiple times that he does not speak FOR them but only highlights their present precarious positions and conditions using our platform. He constantly reiterates that minority communities don't need organizations and individuals with savior complexes to help. But they do need their voices to be heard and listened to. Vihaan's frustration comes through when he exclaims how it has been a year-long battle, but he has not been able to achieve something as simple as getting his gender identifiers changed by the government. He also talks about the blatant violence and discrimination that the trans community faces without any legal protections whenever they attempt to assert their rights and identity.
There is invisibility within the spectrum for trans men.
His frustration at the community's invisibilization is also evident as he explains the discrimination embedded within the LGBTQ spectrum. Even in the trans community, he stresses how trans men face an added layer of invisibilization. A trans man himself, Vihaan can attest to the issues that females assigned at birth have to undergo when deciding to come out and accept the gender they identify with.
Usually, panels only invite educated trans people to talk about their issues.
Proclaiming himself as an ally to the sex worker's movement, Vihaan points out how being an ally cannot just stop at calling oneself that. Allies need to do their homework, make an effort to understand the needs of the community, give them space, and make honest and active efforts to ensure that institutions can become structurally more inclusive. Vihaan stops to highlight the lack of representation on panels or interviews in corporate spaces, especially representation of queer people from lower castes and socio-economic backgrounds.
We should reflect within ourselves. Most of the time, in the name of the community, we homogenize the community.
Currently based in Bangalore, Vihaan is committed to various issues that disproportionately affect minority communities. However, he does not want to mislead the people he speaks to by homogenizing efforts and struggles. Even efforts towards singular communities cannot be homogenized because every individual's lived reality is different, and all actions need to take into context the ground realities and spectrum. This is a fact that Vihaan is very careful to remain cognizant of.