Revolving around unconditional love

Revolving around unconditional love

united The members of the LGBT community.

Bangalore’s sexual minority groups decided to celebrate the first anniversary of the historic Naz Foundation decision decriminalising IPC 377 with a well-planned programme that also included a musical performance featuring singers from different walks of life.

The evening began with an overview of the historic 377 judgement. The introductory remarks were accompanied by a slide show of photographs from the Bengaluru 2008 Pride and celebrations following the Naz verdict, and press clips relating to the judgement.

The musical part kicked off with a performance by Sumathy Murthy, a Bangalore-based playwright, activist and singer. She sang a Mira Bhajan and a twelfth century Vachana about love without restrictions.

Next up was Akkai, a kothi (transgender woman) trained in classical music. Akkai works with Sangama, a sexual minorities human rights organisation, especially aiming at helping people from poor and non-English speaking backgrounds. Akkai’s performance featured self-composed songs, set to an Indian classical Western musical fusion style, about freedom and human rights for sexual minorities.

Chitra and Deepu from ‘LesBit’ sang songs from Tamil films. This was followed by a surprise performance from Rebecca Miller, a New York songwriter and singer whose songs revolved around unconditional love.

The finale of the evening was a moving performance by guest artiste Fatimah Loren, a singer from Philadelphia, who sang in diverse styles from R&B, jazz to electronic sounds and soul. Her songs documented her journey through her personal struggle for freedom and her quest for a human connection.

“The gay and transgender community has made a great deal of progress since the landmark judgement last year. It is a huge step forward for us that issues affecting sexual minorities can now be debated openly in public forums. Although there was some opposition to the judgement as we expected there would be, we were also very encouraged by the widespread support that we received from open-minded people from different walks of life,” said Siddarth, a member of the Open Law Forum.

The event was organised by four non-profit LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender) organisations.They were Swabhava, an NGO that works with LGBT issues and provides access to support services; Good As You, an informal support group for LGBT people that meets socially and discusses LGBT related issues, WHaQ, an informal support group for lesbian, bisexual, or transgender women, LesBit, a group that fights for the advancement of human rights of lesbians and bisexual women. “We are also planning a series of events to highlight our issues like debates, mini parades, book launches, and art exhibitions shortly,” said Siddarth.

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