'Surely Gender Discrimination': Queer Student On Being Barred From TISS Event

TISS Student President Pratik Permey talks to The Quint about being asked to leave an event over their attire.

2 min read
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(Pratik Permey identifies as genderfluid and uses they/he/she pronouns)

In a recent incident, the student union president of Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai, has alleged discrimination at a college event over their "inappropriate" attire.

On 25 March, during a speech organized on 'Ambedkar Nationalism And the Need for Contemporary Collaborative Activitism', Pratik Permey claimed that she was invited as a representative of the students' union to welcome the guests and perform some formalities.

However, when they arrived at the venue, a professor and some members of the organizing committee allegedly objected to their outfit, which was a blouse and a skirt.

Speaking to The Quint, Permey says, "This was surely gender discrimination", adding that "quite a lot of faculty members have stood in solidarity, and asked me what actions I want to take."


After being barred from the event, the second-year master's student from the Centre for Health and Mental Health filed a complaint of gender discrimination in the institute's Women and Gender Development Cell - citing their right to freedom and expression.

In an Instagram post, the Assamese student described himself as "the first gender-fluid, tribal, queer Student Union President of TISS Mumbai from the North East" and highlighted that "the village they come from has a lot of tribal people, and they were comfortable with very minimal clothes."

"TISS is an institute where I am celebrated as the 'first transgender student leader'. But I still face micro-aggressions on a regular basis. Apart from people being ignorant about my identity, the stigma and the kind of things I've been told are unimaginable".
Pratik Permey, Student Union President (he/she/they)

They add, "Besides, I have a hard time believing that no other trans or queer person took this position before me. I'm sure they did, they just didn't come out."

Permey also mentions how their friends and faculty members' support has been essential throughout this ordeal.

They say, "The only non-binary faculty member in my department walked out with me and has constantly been in touch since the event. Many supportive faculty members have also taken the issue up with the department and helped file a formal complaint."


At a time when queer and tribal activists across the globe are calling for more inclusive policies, Permey feels that they were particularly discriminated against their queer and tribal identity.

They said, "Even if the institute wants to curb what students wear, it is not fine. Apart from being an indigenous and tribal person, I am also queer. I also felt that my queerness was not allowed to represent, or rather I was not allowed to because of my queerness."

They further added that this incident made them feel "really violated and humiliated."

"My right and my freedom were curbed. I was not allowed to represent".
Pratik Permey, Student Union President (he/she/they)

The Quint reached out to TISS authorities, who declined to comment on the incident, citing ongoing internal proceedings.

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Topics:  Assamese   North Eastern   LGBTQ+ 

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