Chennai Rainbow Pride 2011

Chennai Rainbow Pride

If June brings the sweltering heat, it also brings reasons to cheer and celebrate. It could be the joy of savouring Mangoes for some, the happiness of all play and no studies for students, or, the ability to stand up for one’s own self and show to the society that we exist, and there is nothing wrong with us. Yes, June brings with it the Pride Parades across the world and in various cities of India too.

Well into its third year, the Chennai Pride will be held on 26th June to mark the anniversary of Stonewall Riots. The pride parade will be preceded by a month of activities to celebrate the diversity and highlight the various issues faced by LGBT community. “In Chennai we treat June as the Pride Month and we have a series of weekend activities and one of the last activity is the pride parade, which is the 26th June,” said Ramki L Ramakrishnan, one of the organizers of the Chennai Pride.

The activities kicked off from May itself, beginning with a small workshop on how to interact with the media during the parade so as to send a unified message, followed by a press conference and a poster making session on May 28th. Screening of a documentary of gay and lesbian Indians and their parents by Sonali Gulatie I AM was organized by the Chennai branch of Sangama on June 4.

A panel discussion with doctors, lawyers, psychologist etc and an interactive session with the audience has been planned for June 11th .The documentary Bold and the Beautiful by transgenders of Kalki Sahodari Foundation will also be screened the same day. There will be another poster making session the next day. The following weekend will then see a cultural performance by members of the community from Chennai and other parts of Tamil Nadu. A pre – pride party will be hosted on June 24th, while 25th June will have a parents meet – up, where parents of LGBTs can share their worries, and express their support and love for their child; which will be followed by an art exhibition and a play titled Molagaapodi by Kattiakari Theater Group. The month long activities would then culminate with the final pride march on June 26th.

With the decriminalization of homosexuality last year, the participation in this year’s pride march is expected to swell. Talking on this matter, Ramki said, “Typically, when you compare to Bangalore or Kolkata pride, we don’t have the kind of numbers that you have in these cities. But there are a lot of other people who won’t necessarily go to the march but come to the cultural event or come to the panel discussion,” hinting at the increasing sense of confidence among the members of the community.

You can view the event details by clicking here.

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Sukhdeep Singh