SEXperience - Experiences Around SEX with Patruni Sastry
March 03, 20224 min read
In conversation with Patruni Sastry about multi-sexual spectrum, drag culture and his relationship with a heterosexual cis-woman.
Heteronormative Society & Multisexuality
“The society that we live in is a heteronormative society. Having said that people who identify as bisexuals or pansexuals are not somebody who fits into it. When it comes to them, fitting in the queer community is also not something very common. This has happened in my queer family and the heteronormative community, when I came out as pansexual at the age of 25, people said that “you cannot like both men and women at the same time”.
At that time, people did not know what pansexuality was and they thought that pansexuality and bisexuality is a myth. They also thought that those who identified by these were hiding their sexuality. But in reality, pansexuality is a way of including all genders and gender orientations.
The idea of inclusion needs to be made more known and include everyone in the multisexual spectrum and not be judged on the life decisions that they take. So basically, if a man is identifying as a bisexual and is living with a woman we should not assume that the person is straight. It's really important that we ask and not assume someone's sexuality.
The ideas of the people who are from the multisexual spectrum are something that has been in India for a long time. There were many kings as well as people who were multisexual in the era. However, the idea of it was hidden post-colonization. Multisexuality needs to be revived or needs to be reinstated so that we see the inclusion of bi and pan people in the spectrum."
India's Drag Scene
"In my initial years, I was a trained Bharatnatyam and Kuchipudi dancer, and once I started performing about queer issues I came across drag performances in Bangalore. It was then that I thought that it is really important for us to have a drag scene. My initial idea was to introduce it to my queer friends and let them perform But the idea was highly retaliated and my friends told me “ why can’t you do it yourself?” and that’s how it all started.
I started performing drag back in 2019, in Hyderabad. It was a small cafe called ‘Humans of Nirvana’. A few other people and I curated the event idea, we expected around 21 people on the first day, although the turnout was about 500 people.
Drag is an art form where men would dress up as women and vice versa and present. It's basically a gender performance where a performer would exaggerate the idea of their gender and present it to the audience. Sometimes it's androgynous and sometimes it's also something as a zero gender. Even straight people can do drag, they don’t specifically have to be a part of the LGBTQ community."
Drag, Activism and How
I use drag as a medium to talk about queer subjects like homosexuality and political situations such as CAA and NRC or the transgender bill. I work in live performance art and events where I talk about crucial situations and reflect my ideologies. The best part about art is that art can portray anything and everything. Art can be used as a tool of activism.
I do not believe that activism has to be rigid or cutthroat. I think activism needs to be political and art makes it a political tool to present it to people. You can just get on the stage and perform and create a thoughtful idea of change.
Sometimes my visible existence becomes activism. Sometimes when I walk into drag it becomes a part of me or kind of creates an activist movement, through myself, to normalize things that people would be seeing.
Drag has been life-changing for me as it is also the medium through which I met my wife as she had been a loyal follower of my drag. I'm married to a cis-gender woman and I came out to her in the very initial time of our conversation. I remember one of the things she told me, “I understand where you are coming from, I might not understand your complete journey of sexuality and gender, but I could see the love you are resonating and I want to be in for it.”
Every Relationship is Different
"People think a pansexual person married to a heterosexual person makes both heterosexual but that's not how it works. Being married to a cis-women didn’t change me as an individual. The feelings are the same, the heart is the same, the brain is the same, it's just now I have someone to rely on, and that is something really beautiful.
Lastly, I’ll like to add that it’s never too late to learn about multi-sexuality or in fact anything. It's important for all of us to understand and accept people from all walks of life, society, and sectors, people of the queer and LGBTQ community, and in order to do so, people need to ask questions, because that's when they'll get their answers, so that is something that needs to be done.”