Society

Queerythm’s Pride Walk 2020 in Kerala capital to showcase talents from the LGBTIQ community

During Queerythm’s Pride Walk at Manaveeyam Veedhi last year

During Queerythm’s Pride Walk at Manaveeyam Veedhi last year   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Taking inspiration from their motto ‘Love makes a family’, Thiruvananthapuram-based Queerythm’s third edition of its Pride Walk on February 8 aims to “grow beyond the individual and to the heart of the family”

‘Love makes a family’ goes their slogan. Taking inspiration from their motto, city-based Queerythm’s third edition of its Pride Walk today aims to “grow beyond the individual and to the heart of the family” even as, perceptibly, there’s been a greater awareness about the “lives and loves” of the LGBTIQ community in the society.

With a plethora of cultural events lined up, the annual jamboree by transpersons, spearheaded by Queerythm that works towards the welfare of the LGBTIQ community, promises to paint the town in rainbow hues.

“Post the historic Article 377 verdict, more people have been coming out. However, we still have a long way to go with regard to family acceptance for many, one reason why this year’s Pride Walk 2020 is more inclusive, with families too invited to be a part to bring about a larger change,” says Prijith P K, president of Queerythm.

With banners and placards in support of the community, the Walk commences from Ayyankali Hall (formerly VJT Hall), all the way to the day’s cultural stage at Manaveeyam Veedhi. The march features flash mobs and short dance performances highlighting “queer love.”

This year’s celebrations focus on the catchphrase “Adding more colours to life”, and Prijith points out that the cultural programmes have been drawn in line with this theme to “cover the broad spectrum.”

Perhaps, the centrepiece will be a solo theatre performance in Tamil, Vellai Mozhi, by Bengaluru-based writer and transgender activist A Revathi, encapsulating “her journey of struggle towards success.” The production features a poem by transgender activist Kalki Subramanian and is directed by Tamil theatreperson A Mangai. ‘Neev on Heels’ sets the ramp on fire with a fashion show. “The specially choreographed ramp walk aims at exhibiting the diversity of gender,” says Prijith.

Other programmes include a DJ session by DJ Mr. Pete and solo dance and music performances.

Jithin Lal, choreographer of the fashion show, says the costume design has been conceptualised in accordance with “rainbow” colour theme. “The ramp walk features 13 models, all members from the community, who will be accoutred in various outfits such as colour-coded gowns, tops, shirts and trousers to signify their respective sexual and gender identity,” adds Jithin, a fashion design student in the city.

Prijith says the cultural programmes are also meant as a platform to bring more members of the community to the fore and “showcase the talents of queer individuals who otherwise lack a venue.” The day will serve as a launchpad for a support group for parents who have shown acceptance towards their wards coming out. “The idea is to help these parents motivate others as well for a more progressive approach collectively,” adds Prijith.

Baby Latha, mother of a young transperson from the city who has come out, will be speaking about her life as the parent of a queer individual and the change in her mindset. “There are a lot of myths and misconceptions about transpeople. Often, it’s a source of apprehension for the person itself when self-perceptions about their true gender identity start emerging. When my son, who’s 17 now, was coming out three years ago, none of us had the knowledge or world-view to truly understand what was happening. But with the help of professionals, we came to terms with his gender orientation and choices. The support group we form aims at sensitising other parents as well who may otherwise inadvertently harm their wards either due to ignorance or reluctance,” says Baby.

A subsidiary unit of Queerythm, which was launched in 2017, will be putting up stalls for the sale of its ecofriendly products such as cloth bags, badges with quotes in support of the community, caps and so on. Also on display at the venue will be cloth-based installations done by members of Queerythm. “As in the previous edition, the Walk will be conducted in line with the green protocol and all the materials to be used during the event will be eco-friendly,” adds Prijith.

Queerythm’s Pride Walk 2020 begins from Ayyankali Hall at 4 pm. Cultural programmes will be held at Manaveeyam Veedhi thereafter. Contact: 9747811406

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Printable version | Feb 27, 2020 8:25:24 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/queerythms-pride-walk-2020-in-kerala-capital-to-showcase-talents-from-the-lgbtiq-community/article30760763.ece

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