Colours of pride...

Colours of pride...

The celebrations have begun and it is a colourful month-long affair. The ‘Namma Pride and Karnataka Queer Habba’ is at an exciting phase.

On Sunday, a ‘Carnival’ was organised by the Queer Campus Bangalore at The Hub, Safina Plaza. What was interesting about the event was it saw many youngsters coming out in support, in a creative and interactive way.

With stalls, live performances and poetry sessions, the event tried to communicate a larger message. Organiser of the event, Tushar says, “Everyone likes to witness entertaining performances and buy affordable jewellery. The ‘Carnival’ aims to bring together the gay and straight crowd and find such common threads.”

Shreya Ghosh, the owner of ‘Shrumptious’, a stall at the event, says, “All humans need love, respect, care and support. Educating and creating awareness is the only way to clear mental blocks.”
There were more entrepreneurs like her. Rakesh from ‘Happyknots’ says that entrepreneurs can encourage the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community by involving them in future business prospectives. “I am a musician and I have noticed that many friends in the queer community are talented. Opening up platforms for them will bring people closer,” he says.

Legalising anything makes it more acceptable, points out Hussain Sariya, a member of Queer Campus Bangalore. “This helps communicate the message that if the law can support someone, why can’t you?” he says.

Youngsters like Rachana Pawar and Ananya Raju feel that educating people about the LGBT community should start from the school level.

“This would trigger healthy conversations. Just like sex education for hetrosexuals, information about the queer community should be disseminated,” says Ananya. Rachana pitches in, “Making these subjects a part of the mainstream would help and help those who live closeted lives.”  More celebrations are on the cards. The ‘habba’, being held under the banner of ‘Coalition for Sex Workers, Sexual and Sexuality Minorities’ Rights’, will conclude with the ‘Namma Pride March’ on November 26.

Yash Sharma, one of the organisers, says that the celebration has graduated from being a day’s affair to a month-long activity. “From 150 people participating in the march earlier, it has grown to more than 4,000 now,” he adds.

This year’s edition has special additions like ‘Diverse Identity Panel Discussion’, which will bring together people from all identities. “We will also be observing ‘International Transgender Remembrance Day’, where we will remember people in the LGBT community who have passed on,” he adds.

Inclusiveness of different sections is another theme that is being explored. Madhumitha Venkataraman, organiser of accessibility with ‘Namma Pride’ says that making the festival accessible for people with disability is important. “I’m a person with disability and have participated in the march in the past few years and faced difficulties,” she says.

Some points that would be focussed on include providing cabs which are wheelchair-friendly for the march, having a sign language interpreter for the day and leaving a communication channel open for people to request for facilities.

“We are also organising ‘See The World Through Touch’ which will see people from the LGBT community creating tactile books. There are also videos that will help disabled people understand the LGBT community better and vice versa,” she says.

“Our aim is to reach out to a wider audience and gain more acceptance. We are positive about the same,” she points out.

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