I am Generation Equality: Nu Misra, community leader, disability and queer rights advocate
Billions of people across the world stand on the right side of history every day. They speak up, take a stand, mobilize, and take big and small actions to advance women’s rights. This is Generation Equality.
Interviewed by: Aakansha Saxena
Three ways to help women and girls in all their diversities achieve their dreams are:
- Fight for your rights, citizenship and agency in whatever way is the most accessible to you
- Look after your queer body with disabilities, prioritize it, put your needs first
- Learn how to live, love, sit and sing with your disability.
I am Generation Equality because. . . . .
“I believe we don't just walk into revolutions, but also wheel, limp, hop, crawl into one or initiate one for ourselves. There is power in a movement with disability. A way of survival, of thinking and of doing with disability.”
To grow up in a world not designed for your ability or sexuality, without any pre-defined script, or reference point, I realised I am placed in this normative world which perceives only one type of body as successful or the "do-er".
I am Nu, a graduate in gender studies, a queer feminist with disability, and an author at Penguin Random House India.
I aim to create an archive of queer experiences with disability to serve as evidence to future generations that folks with disability have always been here and are here to stay.
In 2020, I founded Revival Disability India, an online community platform that advocates for disability rights. It is a safe space where we ask questions, navigate the grief and joy associated with a “deviant”, “crip” body.
My advocacy work involves creating safer digital spaces for queer and individuals with disability. With an aim to promote a community of care and collective joy, I collaborate with platforms on reclaiming and rebuilding workspaces away from an able-bodied culture towards reviving a world with disability.
Most of us have become activists and human rights defenders because we have been compelled to be so. Nobody has taught us to walk proudly into a room with our disability and queer walk. We have taught ourselves to love and grieve our body, to just "be'' with our disability. We have parented ourselves into bold, resilient, confident adults with disability.
My organization Revival lies amongst this journey as an observer, disruptor and archiver. We colour outside the able-bodied lines of the world. Each individual within Revival shapes its character, moulds its shape and gives it direction.
The collective doesn't belong to a single person, but to the labour of a community.
Discovering my disability at a very young age, I felt confused and ill-fitting into every label imposed on me. Evidently, my community taught me how to care for my queer body with disabilities. One step at a time. I am community made and not self-made.
We are Generation Equality Allies with the UN Women India country office. In the coming months of 2023, we aim to take up more digital as well as physical space by inviting more queer individuals with disabilities across various intersections to work and co-create with us.
My aspiration for girls and women with disabilities is for them to fight for their rights, citizenship and agency in whatever way they can, whether by writing, speaking or simply surviving.
I want to encourage them not to let anyone tell them their efforts are not enough or performative. They need to know that there is no such thing as success or failure, the only constant is your queer body with disabilities.
Home is in your curved fingers, in your bones with disabilities and not in another person.
Nu Misra: Nu (they/them) is a queer, non-binary person with disability. They are the founder of Revival Disability India - Magazine and Community and a Generation Equality Ally. Their work involves working with technology and creating safer digital spaces for queer and folks with disability online. They believe in creating communities of care and collective joy. A disability justice author and curator, they collaborated on several spaces that have reclaimed disabled joy, rage, rest and movement. A CREA fellow '22, and a Tata Institute of Social Sciences master's student in gender studies, they work on campaigns surrounding abuse and violation of consent of people with disability.