Hyderabad Hosts India’s First ever BI/PAN Pride Fest

On 18thSeptember 2021, Hyderabad’s popular vegan café “Terrassen Cafe” saw a rather unusual event, with people from LGBTQIA+ community coming together to celebrate the city’s BI/PAN Fest. This was one of its kind queer pride festival organized to highlight the invisible or sometimes most dismissed section of queer community i.e., the Bi/Pan and Multiple Sexuality spectrum community.

Ideated by Patruni Chidananda Sastry, Hyderabad based pansexual drag artist in collaboration with Mobbera foundation – city based queer group, and art curator Bhagi Shravani -founder of Humans of Nirvana, the event was co-hosted by Hyderabad based queer nightlife curator Vaibhav Modi’s Dark Vibe and Dragvanti, India’s first desi drag blog.

The event started with an opening performance by Patruni Sastry, followed by a gripping play by theater artist Sajiv Pasala. This was followed by some interesting and thought-provoking talks on vivid topics around BI/PAN sexuality and erasure by Rahul Eragula, Anil Sag, Pratishtha Patny and many more. One of the highlighted talks was by Tanushree, who are a sexual educator. They spoke about consent, safe sex practices, fetish, and kink which people explore in their relationships and why it’s important to have an informed enthusiastic consent by both the partners. This talk stirred a conversation with everyone chiming in about multiple aspects of gender and sexuality and made this discussion even more holistic.

Patruni Chidananda Sastry (Picture by Shivangi Biswas)

The event also saw some stellar performances by Ashu Mario, Evana, and a thought-provoking poetry presentation by Shashi. The performance by South India’s first male belly dancer Telu Sravan stole the show. The event also had Hyderabad’s first Drag King Praveen, who performed with a drag name “Mr. Soaggadu”. This was a pathbreaking performance and was highly appreciated as it’s rare to see a trans-man representation within drag scene.

The event ended with a folk performance by Patruni Sastry.  As a closing remark Patruni said, “It was really hard to find a support system within as well as outside queer community for people who identify as Pansexual/Bisexual.  People who identify as pan/bisexual face stigmatization about their choices of partner and are ask to give validation time to time and events like this help create awareness about the Multiple sexuality spectrum community.” The event ended with a vote of thanks to all the participants, collaborators, and the venue by the organizers.