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Friday, June 29, 2012


The Pain, the stress, the torture & the guilt,
Shame and stigma which my world built

I’ve struggled since the day, I thought it as a crime,
I came out before, this is not the first time
But now I came out once again,
Feeling free without any strain

It took twenty one years to unmask myself, 
The old mask I worn now out of my shelf
The awful lies and continuous deception,
But the time has come to feel the inception

All along holding my hands showing the light,
Cheering me to face the fight
Words are not enough to feel the freedom,
Thanks to you dear for passing the wisdom

Before you judge me hold on to this thought:
I am still the same person; it is not my fault
I have come to accept who I am today
Please do the same mother, father; I am gay.

written by,

Friday, June 22, 2012

Dawning of a new age

Written by Vikki

One of my straight friend recently asked me “Why do you guys need a gay pride, when we are not parading on the street announcing about our heterosexuality?”.  I could have replied him we don’t follow the so-called social norms defined by the majority of you people. Instead I took him to one of my favorite beach Besant nagar, there were plenty of heterosexuals doing all sort of romantic things openly, submerged in their erotic activities. Hesitant to disturb their privacy, me and my friend took a place somewhere behind and sat. Now I asked my friend “How many of these people you think are straight people”. He looked at me puzzled, but answered “I think almost most of them are”. I continued “See, they have an open space to showcase their heterosexuality without any disturbance and with social acceptance, not just in the beach, they are doing it through marriage institution or proposing to the opposite sex without any shame or fear. But unfortunately we are not that fortunate people, we don’t have a safe space or social tolerance to announce our sexuality, fearing on social stigma we are remaining in the closet. Pride march is the only time most of us together without any fear can announce our sexuality and celebrate for who we are”.

I am not sure whether my friend agreed to my point, but he came and took part in the last year pride march. Since first Pride in 2009, we have come a long way.  The number of gay and bisexual men participating in the pride march had increased tremendously. We are seeing some lesbian and bisexual women become actively involved or participating in Pride celebrations. Though Trans men are yet to be a part of the march except one or two. As usual our trans sisters are loud and proud, they have been our front runners, leading the way, holding the rainbow flag, posing for cameras, they are not going to give up the fight.

Few weeks before at Pride Press meet, a media person asked me “Why are you doing the pride celebrations in June”. Suddenly all that stories I have read and heard about Stonewall riots rushed into my mind. I was silent for awhile, thankfully Kalki interrupted and answered to that question. Long time back one of the guys who participated in the Stonewall riots said in an interview that “Everyone in the crowd felt that we were never going to go back. It was like the last straw. It was time to reclaim something that had always been taken from us.... All kinds of people, all different reasons, but mostly it was total outrage, anger, sorrow, everything combined, and everything just kind of ran its course. It was the police who were doing most of the destruction. We were really trying to get back in and break free. There was something in the air, freedom a long time overdue, and we're going to fight for it. It took different forms, but the bottom line was, we weren't going to go away. And we didn't”.

In 2009 when I started organizing gay parties along with my friends Srivath, Senthil, Teja and Gabriel under the banner of Chennai Dost, many criticized. And there were plenty of criticism and obstructers within and outside the community which continue to exist until now. They attacked us on several grounds western import, commercialization, cultural evil, party freaks, not being inclusive etc. But we silently organized our events regularly, we have focused on our objectives and strategies, we have avoided answering to them since many of them would have found the answers by now. In September 2009, the first gay party under a group banner was organized which has seen more than 100 turn-outs. Our logic was simple and straight ‘Gay people love to party’. But we have made sure there were interactions in all our parties. These parties connected people without any class, caste, religion, preferences, area or education. Everybody participated. What we have witnessed in the Chennai Queer Film Festival in terms of turn-outs of GB men is one of the out come of the gay parties in the city in the last 3 years.

3 years before It wasn’t easy connecting with other gay and bisexual men and bringing them to our events. They were very hesitant. Most of them feared that they might be exposed or extorted or raped. We had to repeatedly talk to them and build that confidence. Fortunately for me and my 4 friends we had a pretty long friends list, we built a wide network location wise, class wise etc. We organized hang-outs, meet-ups, movie screenings regularly to connect the scattered, invisible GB community. We have utilized all the gay meeting spots both online and offline including Planet Romeo, Yahoo Chat, Emaling lists, Facebook, Cruising spots and some house parties.

People like me who may have worked in a short span are tired now because of the continuous criticism and obstucles, some of us have already stayed away from the community work and focused on their personal life. Even I wanted to go back to my hometown and live quietly with my boyfriend. We wanted young leaders who are confident and vibrant. Hence we are trying to establish our presence at Colleges and Universities. Our strategists are working hard to make things happen. Presence of many youths in our group gave us the energy and confidence on most occasions. They don’t fear unlike us. They wanted their voices to be heard loud and clear. Most of them I meet are confident about their sexuality. We are sending them to other cities like Bangalore, Mumbai and Thrissur to take a look at the pride marches and local communities. They are learning, they are going to be the next leaders and activists of this community. Their confidence is building day by day.

 Recently I was fortunate enough to watch a movie called “More than a friend” directed by Debalina. This movie is about a lesbian couple and their life. It was beautifully filmed; almost all of us who were watching the movie in the review panel went into tears. What was so touching is that there was a lesbian girl among our panel, who literally lost her words after watching the movie. It isn’t easy being women in India; they were the most suppressed and degraded by the society. I don’t think life is going to be easier for lesbian women either; in fact it is going to be even more difficult. That’s why we have heard so many suicide stories of lesbian women in India. Queer women movement has a long way to go and they need a strong leader for sure especially in Chennai. I hope they will have all the courage in the world to stand up for their rights and form a community of their own.

We have come a long way, participation in the Pride marches and celebrations from Community groups have been increasing. There were many NGOs actively involved in Pride 2009, now we are witnessing plenty of Community groups and individuals playing active role. And they are not going to stop. They are going to fight till the end.

When we suggested demanding for inclusion of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans men in the Welfare board and activating the existing Transgender Welfare Board as Sexual Minorities Welfare Board in one of the Pride Planning meet, many were not convinced. Some of them even asked us that there is no need to include Bisexual issues into the welfare board. Ramki, Shiva and others arranged for a meeting with few Transgender leaders to get their opinion for the inclusion. Finally we have managed to speak to them and included the demand in the Press release draft. I was glad for their understanding and support on LGB issues. Fortunately we have also received updates on Planning Commission and National Youth Policy which will trigger LGBT movement in the upcoming years.

There were few agitations and frustrations on the community; I have read one article where one writer mentioned the reasons for his non-participance in the upcoming pride. Perceptions differ. Though we cannot force anyone to participate in the Pride, but one or two groups and individuals cannot be put as a bad example. There were plenty of open minded friends and groups waiting to receive him. I felt sad that he didn’t think about them when he wrote it, who loved him no matter what happened. But Pride is not just for the community or unity, it is to celebrate one’s sexuality. Announcing the world that we are proud of being Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual or Transgender.

As many other Pride march, I hope this pride will bring many changes. Changes in many people lives. Of course I am going to be there, shouting and dancing around with our boys and girls, just like the way I did in 2009.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Believe it or not !

Not just one...

Two party kings joining hands together for the first time.


 gives you space to go crazy and party 


 on 24th June, Sunday (8pm onwards)

The biggest party ever...

DJ Lathish spinning the best of music!!

Entry Fee: 300/-

Venue: Speed Lounge, Nungambakkam

Sometimes you you gotta pay for things that are priceless

All are welcome to celebrate PRIDE! 

Bring your ring of friends and have a rainbow time

For directions call : 9381444948, 9551630213

Friday, June 15, 2012

"Colours of Sexuality"- Chennai Queer Film Festival 2012 (Press Release in The Hindu)

Film fest kicks off gay pride month

It may take a few minutes for the name Santhi Soundarajan to ring a bell in many minds. The athlete lost her 2006 Asian Games silver medal after failing a gender test which reported that “she did not have female characteristics.” A film ‘Y can't I run' screened at the Chennai Queer Film Festival traces her frustration and the seclusion she went through after the disclosure. “They consider me a cheat. But I still maintain that I am a woman. A gender test cannot take that away from me,” she says in the short film.
Several such films that highlight the concerns of sexual minorities will be screened as part of the festival that marks the launch of gay pride month in the city. The film festival is being held at the Goethe Institut in the city. Orinam, that provides online and offline space for the LGBT community, and Chennai Dost, are among its organisers.
“The 3-day film festival is called ‘colours of sexuality' because there are varied hues of sexuality that people don't know about. It is not just about gays and lesbians, but many more, for instance bisexuals, transgenders, female-to-male transgenders, and many more,” says Dev, director, Chennai Dost.
The movement is also a reminder of the 1969 Stonewall riots in the United States, widely considered the beginning of the LGBT (lesbian gay bisexual transgender) movement. “The demonstrations are frequently cited as the first instance when people in the homosexual community fought back injustice against sexual minorities. Since then, June has always been a month of pride for us,” says Rupesh, a volunteer with Chennai Dost. As part of the celebrations, an art exhibition at the Max Mueller Bhavan displays nearly 100 photographs depicting moments and expressions most significant to the LGBT community.
Nearly 12 NGOs that work with sexual minorities have come together to hold a series of activities to spread awareness about the LGBT community and sensitise the society to their needs. A panel discussion on Saturday will look into what parents and family of people with different sexual preferences go through and how they can be counselled. The Chennai Rainbow Coalition that has various LGBT groups under one banner will undertake the pride rally, cultural activities and other events this month.
While actual numbers are not known, experts in the field say that there is a considerable number of people with alternate sexual preferences in the city. “Every group has nearly 2,000 members. We want people living in the closet to know that we are there for them,” says Mr. Dev. Chennai, he says, is more tolerant than Bangalore or Mumbai, and is quite accepting of the community. “The children and youth are quite understanding. But we have a long way to go,” he says.

Check the link:-

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Colours of Sexuality: Chennai Queer Film Festival 2012 - Online brochure

Check this below link for the online brochure of Colours of Sexuality: Chennai Queer Film Festival on June 15 - 17 at Goethe Institut, Nungabkkam for Program Schedule, List of Movies etc...

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Chennai Rainbow Pride 2012 - Placard / Poster Making Session

Hi Friends,

We Cordially invite you to join us for poster/placard making session on 9th june at 3pm

venue:Chennai Dost office

For Directions call : +91 9551630213

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Chennai Rainbow Pride 2012

Chennai Rainbow Pride 2012 will be held at Elliott's beach, besant nagar on June

24th with plenty of music and celebration...Yes, it is time to celebrate our 


Saturday, June 2, 2012

Chennai Rainbow Pride 2012

Pride Press Release - Demands from Chennai LGBT Community 2012

- We  call upon the Supreme Court to uphold the historic Naz Foundation verdict of July 2, 2009, that read down IPC Section 377 to exclude  consensual relationships among adults of the same sex. We urgently need the Supreme Court to secure the fundamental rights of india's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens to lives of dignity, equality, and free expression.

- We heartily commend the Planning Commission, Government of India, for recommending inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in its approach to health care, social equity and reach to discriminated groups in the upcoming 12th national five-year plan.  We ask that these plans translate into tangible results  such as inclusion of sexuality and gender issues in medical and other educational curricula, in stringent anti-discrimination laws, and in all relevant social welfare programmes.

- We appreciate the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India, for its draft National Youth Policy 2012 that proposes interventions to counter stigma faced by LGBT youth, a timely and much-needed move.

- We request the Tamil Nadu Government to continue and build on the work of the Aravani Welfare Board, which remains a unique initiative for transwomen in the country, and to expand its scope to include sexual minorities who face harassment and discrimination because of their gender identity,  gender expression and/or sexual orientation.

- We mourn the loss of activist Mariya/Anil in Kerala and countless other LGBT people in the country, and call for an immediate end to the epidemic of violence and discrimination perpetrated by individuals and institutions such as the police, judiciary, and families against LGBT persons  and others marginalized on grounds of sexuality. We express grave concern at the escalation of arrests of sexual minorities and sex workers in Chennai over the past year.

- We seek affordable and appropriate healthcare for all, and condemn unscientific and unethical attempts by some in the medical and mental health professions to change sexual orientation through drugs,electro-shock therapy, and other means. We draw attention to the urgent need for professional and peer-led psychosocial support services and safe spaces to help our communities cope with the stress of living in a society that is largely hostile towards alternate sexuality and gender expression

- We ask that our families value our desires as natural and normal,allow us the freedom to choose our expression in terms of attire, romantic and life partners, and not to force us into heterosexual marriages against our wishes.

- We appeal to educational institutions and policy makers to provide non-discriminatory environments for LGBT students, and penalize bullying, ragging, and sexual harassment regardless of the students' sexual orientation, gender or gender-identity.

- We exhort the media to be fair, inclusive and responsible in telling our stories; and not invisibilize or trivialize us and our issues. We urge the film industry in India to stop perpetuating stereotypes and depicting caricatures of our lives.

-  We appeal to businesses in the private and public sector to ensure equality in the workplace in terms of policies, benefits and workplace climate and include sexual orientation and gender identity issues in diversity training for staff

- We thank all those who have been supportive to our struggles - people from other social movements; parents who have been exemplary in their expression of love and acceptance; teachers who have been caring and supportive; health-care professionals who have refused to stigmatize us; celebrities who have expressed their solidarity openly; all the lawyers who aid our work; and journalists who have been sensitive and just;  to mention a few.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Chennai Rainbow Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Pride 2012

“Can love be shackled?” - Thiruvalluvar

Chennai hosts its fourth annual Rainbow Pride in June 2012, a month celebrating visibility of
alternate sexualities and gender identities.  In India, the first Rainbow Pride March took place
in Kolkata in 1999, and currently Pride is celebrated in nine cities and towns of India:
Bengaluru, Bhubaneswar, Chennai, Coimbatore, Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Pune and Thrissur.

Several formal and informal collectives have joined hands to organize a month-long series of 
events in Chennai this June. These include a panel discussion on parents and their LGBT 
children; a cultural festival; a three-day film series,  performances in memory of LGBT 
people who have lost their lives, and poster and placard-making sessions. The Chennai 
Rainbow Pride march will be held on June 24th, 2012

CHENNAI: Recently, transgender activist Anil Sadanandan, also known as Mariya, was murdered in Kerala. Fellow activists say it was a hate crime. Two years ago, trans-woman Sowmiya from Chennai committed suicide. Unable to complete her education, she had turned to sex work and begging to eke out a living and was dependent on alcohol. 

Short documentaries on the lives of Sowmiya and Mariya will be screened at Colors of Sexuality: Chennai Queer Film Festival 2012 to be held from June 1 to 17. The festival is part of the Pride Month celebrations to be organised byChennai Rainbow Coalition, a collective of groups that work for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community. This is the fourth year Chennai is hosting Pride Month, which is celebrated across the world to commemorate the anniversary of Stonewall riots of 1969, when the LGBT community members in New York fought police harassment. 

"Films help us take our concerns to a wider audience," said Kalki Subramaniam, founder, Sahodari Foundation, which works for the transgender community, at a press meet on Friday. "I had spent time with Sowmiya and Mariya and had video footage of them. So I thought of making films on their lives." 

Around 23 Indian films in Hindi, Tamil, Marathi and Bengali will be screened at the fest, said L Ramakrishnan, a volunteer with Orinam, which is organising it with Chennai Dost and Goethe-Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan. 'Logging out', made by a teenage boy using a handheld camera, is about the perils and pleasures of online dating. "One of the most moving films is 'More Than A Friend' by Debalina Majumder, who is from an organisation for lesbian and bisexual women and trans-people," said Vikranth Prasanna, founder, Chennai Dost. 

The struggles underline the importance of legal support, said the activists. "We urge the Supreme Court to uphold the historic Naz Foundation verdict of July 2, 2009 that read down section 377 of the IPC," said Ramakrishnan. The Delhi high court ruling, which decriminalised homosexuality, is being challenged in the SC by various organisations. "We need the SC to secure the rights of India's LGBT citizens so they could live with dignity." 

The Chennai Rainbow pride march will be held on June 24. Other events include photo and art exhibitions, panel discussion on family acceptance of LGBT youth and the release of 'Thirunangai', a Tamil magazine.

Courtesy: Times of India