St Theresa’s College in Kochi, India has been accused of a cancelling a book launch because of the novel’s LGBT+ content, the News Minute reports.
Author Sree Parvathy says the college initially agreed to hold an event at its auditorium for the release of her book Meenukal Chumbikkunnu (The Fishes Kiss)—a story about two girls who are forced to hide their love for each other.
“We had booked the venue almost a week ago,” Parvathy told Onmanorama. “We distributed our brochures and newsletters with details of the venue."
Parvathy goes on to say that "suddenly", they “received a call from the principal... saying that the college is turning going back on their word in line with their stance on lesbian identity."
A spokesperson for the college commented that the event was cancelled because maintenance was due to be carried out in the auditorium.
However, Mohan Das - a friend of Parvathy who organised the event - says the university was unhappy with the content of the book.
“We were told that it was not possible for them to provide the auditorium as they can’t accept the theme of the book,” said Das. “The nuns, who are handling the college administration told me that their superiors had denied permission. One of the nuns asked why we had not informed them about the story and that the Bishop was unhappy with them."
“It’s a book written by a woman about two girls. All the guests for the book release event are women. We thought that it would be wonderful if we could release it in a women’s college," Das added.
Parvathy was able to find a new venue for the event but told the News Minute that she was frustrated by the university’s decision.
“We have to accept and welcome transgenders, lesbians and others as a part of mainstream society. I don’t understand why people are still trying to keep them away," the author said.