A host of programmes is lined up this month as part of the fourth edition of Chennai Rainbow Pride, organised by the LGBT community

In the fourth edition of “Chennai Rainbow Pride”, the LGBT community has lined up programmes for the entire month of June. Rainbow Pride – also conducted in Bengaluru, Bhubaneswar, Coimbatore, Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Pune and Thrissur — is an attempt at winning social, political and legal acceptance for sexual minorities.

For a press meet called to announce the month-long event in Chennai, members of the community turned up wearing masks. It was a symbolic act that portrayed the life without an identity they would have to return to, if the Supreme Court failed to uphold “the historic Naz Foundation verdict on July 2, 2009, which read down IPC Section 377 to exclude consensual relationships among adults of the same sex.”

The members read out a list of concerns and requests (posted on Chennaipride.net), which includes their hope that the Supreme Court will “secure the fundamental rights of India's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens to lives of dignity, equality and free expression.”

The members appealed to “educational institutions and policy makers to provide non-discriminatory environments for LGBT students” and condemned “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”.

The series of programmes is aimed at addressing these and other issues. It includes a poster and placard making session on June 9, a documentary tribute by Kalki Subramanian to transwoman Sowmiya on June 11, Colours of Sexuality: Chennai Queer Film Festival 2012 (June 15-17), a photo and art exhibition on June 15, a panel discussion on family acceptance of LGBT youth on June 16, the release of “Thirunangai”, a community magazine in Tamil, on June 20, Nirangal, an LGBT cultural event, on June 23, Chennai Rainbow Pride March on June 24 and the LGBT Day of Remembrance on June 30.

For details, log in to chennaipride.net.