Let's colour the world with pride

With the United States Supreme Court declaring same sex marriage ban as ‘unconstitutional’ the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) Pride month, June 2015, is being seen as a historic month for those rallying for the rights of the LGBT community.

LGBT Pride Month is an annual observance, which is celebrated each year across various cities in the month of June to honour the 1969 Stonewall Riots. The month-long celebration comprises pride parades, workshops, seminars, film screenings and concerts, to create awareness amongst the masses regarding the LGBT community.

As part of the celebrations, American Center in collaboration with Cinedarbaar organised a three-day LGBT film festival, showcasing five award-winning films that recount poignant stories of LGBT individuals. The festival kick started with the film Kissing Jessica Stein. The film talks about a woman, searching for a perfect man and instead discovers perfect women.

Day 2 of the festival saw the screening of But I’m a cheerleader, which revolves around a naïve teenager who is sent to a rehab camp when her priggish parents suspect her of being a lesbian. This was followed by the Hilary Swank-starrer Boys Don’t Cry, a story about a young female-to-male transgender who falls for an aspiring female singer.

The concluding day of the festival screened Brokeback Mountain that highlights the forbidden, secretive relationship between two cowboys. Lead with Love, a documentary which records family reactions and experiences when they learn about their child’s sexuality marked the end of the festival.

The film screenings were followed by interactive discussions and quizzes on themes highlighted in the films by Anugyan Nag,a film scholar who also gave away exciting prizes to the winners.

While countries like Ireland and United States rejoice and uplift the rainbow flag, various countries like ours are still far from ‘true freedom and equality’.

“Such festivals bring people together and let them voice their support towards the marginalised community. The films highlight the themes and plights of the individuals who are part of a community and the harsh reality is even more disturbing,” Akarshita Singh, who attended the festival, tells Metrolife.

A panel discussion consisting of panelists Myna Mukherjee (director, Engendered), Rafi Rahman (activist) and Sagnik Dutta (journalist) threw light on the families, their reactions and acceptance towards LGBT community in India.

“I believe instead of adding rainbow filters to display pictures on social media platforms, we should change our mindset and continue the fight for rights in our land where nobody, even socially, talks about LGBT, let alone celebrate them,”says Aditi Kukreja, a supporter of the LGBT rights and an attendee.

The response to the festival was encouraging and it drew individuals from various age groups and backgrounds supporting gay rights by voicing their opinions and experiences. The month-long celebrations hope to inform, educate and inspire the masses to fight for the community and make a world where love and human rights wins, irrespective of any community you belong to.

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