9th Chennai Rainbow Pride Month Begins, Pride March to be held on 25th June

Chennai’s Ninth Rainbow Pride Month begins on June 1, 2017. Events lined up this month celebrate the visibility of alternative sexualities and gender identities and affirm the notion of self-respect as a key goal of the lesbian, gay, bi, transgender, intersex, queer, asexual and other (LGBTIQA+) movements. Pride events for the year will commence in June and continue through July. They will include cultural performances, sensitization programmes on sexuality and gender-identity, health information talks, solidarity events, films and poster making sessions. The Chennai Rainbow Pride march will be held on Sunday, 25 June 2017.

Events of the Rainbow Pride Month are organized by the Tamil Nadu Rainbow Coalition (TNRC), an umbrella body of individuals, collectives and organizations working toward gender and sexual equality in all parts of the state.

Members of the TNRC are demanding that the Supreme Court of India reverse the Koushal judgment of 11 December 2013, and that Tamil Nadu and other state governments amend Section 377 so it does not apply to consenting adults; that the Central and State Governments implement the Supreme Court’s NALSA judgment of 15 April 2014 in its entirety, and roll out the schemes announced by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment in 2014. The demands also include access to stigma-free and quality healthcare services, including SRS for transgender people; reactivating the TN Aravani Welfare Board and renaming and restructuring it as TN Transgender Welfare Board based on the more inclusive definition of transgender as set out by the NALSA ruling; reservation for transgender people in educational institutions; workplace equality at private and public sector organisations.

In addition, TNRC has expressed its support for struggles of the Dalit community, people with disability, farmers, sex workers of all genders, other minorities, women, and all others struggling against oppression. They have also resisted imposition of Hindi upon Tamil Nadu residents, and opposed majoritarian forces seeking to dictate what one can and cannot eat.