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NazariyaQFRG, a queer resource group working on issues of gender and sexuality, has launched a campaign in support of the LGBT*QIA community, calling on them to take pride in themselves. This campaign has been conceptualised and executed by Tonic Worldwide.

Despite the decriminalization of section 377 in India in 2018, the LGBTQIA community is still often subjected to prejudice and discrimination by the larger society. This stigma holds them back from openly coming out.

Keeping this in mind, NazariyaQFRG launched a campaign ‘Wear Your Pride’ to support the community, and help them take pride in who they are. It is also an invitation to families, workspaces, and the society at large to be more inclusive of LGBT*QIA+ persons. On the occasion of International day against homophobia, transphobia and biphobia, which is observed on 17th May, the team has launched 8 virtual backgrounds on the popular community video calling app ZOOM.

Each of these backgrounds represents one color of the pride flag which is a symbol of the community. The virtual backgrounds have thought-provoking tag lines like ‘Queer and Proud’, ‘God said Adam & Eve so I did both’, ‘Life gets better together’, etc. which can be used during live ZOOM calls. These backgrounds or filters will be the voice of support not only for the community but also for those who stand in solidarity with them. These backgrounds will be further promoted and amplified on other social media platforms too and available for download. The campaign has also been supported by popular LGBTQIA influencers and activists like R Balaji, Harrish Iyer- Equal Rights Activist, Zainab Patel- Director inclusion and diversity -KPMG India & Sumit Pawar, founder QKnit India

Rituparna Borah, NazariyaQFRG says, “These days ZOOM has been one of the popular platforms where webinars are being held, official meetings are taking place and even families are getting together to be with each other during the lockdown. Queer and trans*persons have been talking about non-acceptance, lack of support and invisibilization during this period too. It is an important campaign where not only queer and trans* persons can use the background, but work spaces, families can use these backgrounds to make queer and trans* folks to feel welcome and inclusive.”

Speaking on the initiative, Pratik Hatankar, Head of Innovations, Tonic Worldwide, says, “It is disconcerting to see that even after our Honorable Supreme Court verdict, the LGBTQIA community in India is still often stigmatized, which prevents them from coming out. People spend maximum time at their workplaces and want to be in environments where they can be themselves. With the new WFH culture, ZOOM is one of the most popular ways to connect with colleagues and loved ones. So what better way to stand up for the community by virtually reminding everyone that we all are equal?”

You can save the backgrounds from below, or download them from here.