Hundreds participate in rainbow pride walk in city

Participants at Chennai Rainbow Pride and Self Respect Walk 2022 on Langs Garden Road in Egmore on Sunday.

Participants at Chennai Rainbow Pride and Self Respect Walk 2022 on Langs Garden Road in Egmore on Sunday. | Photo Credit: B. VELANKANNI RAJ

On Sunday afternoon, hundreds of LGBTIQA+ community members and allies came together to mark Pride Month and participated in the Chennai Rainbow Pride and Self Respect Walk 2022 at Langs Garden Road in Egmore.

Organised by the Tamil Nadu Rainbow Coalition, the walk, they said, was a way of asserting their presence, dignity and self-respect. The Pride walk was held after a gap of two years owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. Armed with banners and flags, many sang and danced along as they marched.

The Tamil Nadu Rainbow Coalition said they appreciated several positive developments in Tamil Nadu, which included the recent inclusion of transgender men as members of the Transgender Welfare Board and as eligible applicants for social welfare schemes for the first time in the 14-year history of the board. They also highlighted the first State mental health policy to have LGBTIQ+ affirming mental health services and the establishment of transgender clinics in Chennai and Madurai, with more to follow. The coalition also lauded the introduction of free bus travel for transgender persons and facilitating self-help groups for transgender women. 

“Despite these developments, the members of the LGBTIQA+ community continue to face discrimination, and we have a set of recommendations that the State should implement. This includes introducing horizontal reservations in education and employment for transgender women, transmasculine and intersex persons,“ said Jaya, general manager, Sahodaran, an organisation that is part of the coalition.

She said that they have called for social welfare measures for transfeminine persons to be made available for transmen in Tamil Nadu as well. “A state LGBTIQA+ policy should be developed with the involvement of members of all subgroups which will promote inclusion and prevent discrimination, “ she said.

Speaking about the sensitisation of the police on LGBTIQA+ issues, Ms. Jaya said this needed to go beyond the city and its neighbouring districts. “Most of these awareness programs are also only focussed on transgender women, but we want experiences of all sub-groups to be included,” she added.

The other recommendations of the Coalition include the training of teaching and non-teaching staff of educational institutions on issues of LGBTIQA+ and gender non-conforming children. They have also asked for restrooms in public places, including hotels, hostels, and other establishments, to have gender neutral options.

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Printable version | Aug 10, 2022 10:56:30 pm |