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Minutes of first pride planning meeting for 2018: Chennai, Saturday, March 3, 2018

Minutes of CRP10 Pride Planning Meeting, Saturday, March 3, 2018 

  1. The first planning meeting for 2018, the tenth year of Pride, was held on Saturday March 3, 2018, at the Sahodaran office in Aminjikarai, Chennai. The meeting was proposed by Kattiyakari and organized in partnership with Sahodaran. 35 participants including members/volunteers of 10 groups and collectives and those attending in individual capacities attended.
  2. Anish began by noting the significance of diverse groups coming together to organize the Pride march and associated events continuously for the past nine years, despite all challenges faced.
  3. An inspiring visual (Powerpoint™) presentation with photographs of events across the years made by Sarah and Anushka of Sahodaran, Anish and others was shared.
  1. Next, key points made by the (formerly Chennai, later Tamil Nadu) Rainbow Coalition in Pride month press releases over the years were discussed. These had been highlighted in advance and were read out by attendees in English and Tamil. These included (partial list):
  • 2010: Affordable and accessible Medical and mental health facilities for all persons. Attempts to change sexuality through medicines, shock therapy and other conversion therapies are unscientific and unethical and must be condemned.
  • 2010: A set of meeting minutes in which the process of organizing Pride was well documented (Police permission, Venue, What to tell media, Notice, Banner, Mobilization, Handling opponents and protestors, Masks, Emergency medical aid, Materials, Funds_
  • 2011: Points around workplace equality
  • 2012: Reviving Aravani Welfare Board and broadening its scope to include all sexual minorities – gender identity/expression and/or sexual orientation
  • 2013: Educational institutions should formulate policies to end bullying ragging based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
  • 2014: Welcoming NALSA and its statement against both sexual orientation and gender identity being unconstitutional
  • 2015: NALSA not implemented after 1 year. Five schemes announced by Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment not implemented. Aravani Board needs to be revived. Physical examination for transgender identity must be removed as it is unethical and against the NALSA verdict
  • 2016: Statement against honour killings, Zero tolerance caste-class honour killings
  • 2017: Reservations for transgender persons in education. School counselors LGBTIQA+

 

  1. Several attendees (partial list: Jaya, Siva, Deepan, Sudha, Samantha, Martin, Srijith, Sebastian, Namitha, Shambhavi, Valan, Sharan, Bessimon, Felix, Delfina, Ramki) shared their experiences of Pride march over the years, including suggestions for the future. These are summarized in succeeding points.

 

  1. Good points: Increasing efforts at inclusion of various groups and issues over the years, not becoming corporate led event. One participant spoke about sex worker visibility in 2017: another pointed out that sex workers have been part of the march since 2009 but were more visible this past year because of red umbrellas.

 

  1. Suggestions for CRP 2010 and future prides:

 

  • Increase representation of people from other TN districts. It used to be higher in the early years and then dipped. Needs to strategize for how to increase, and what arrangements need to be made host people coming from outside Chennai (in- and out- state)
  • Accessibility of Pride route to persons with orthopedic disability who may be using wheelchairs: can this point be used for asking for a road with more access (point communicated by disability rights activist and advocate Amba Salelkar via Valan).
  • Enhance visibility through lorries, music bands
  • Need for advance fundraising
  • More effective social media-based promotion.
  • Individual agendas should not rule.
  • At least one Pride month event on LGBTIQA+ inclusive education, health and employment.
  • Ensuring TNRC members (both organizations and individuals acting in personal capacities) strive to avoid organizing events at overlapping times. Announcing tentative events well in advance can help in reducing overlap

 

  1. Pride march date: Sunday June 24, 2017 (last Sunday of June)
  2. Spaces has been booked for Vannangal Sunday June 23, 2018 [Addendum May 7, 2018: A different venue will be selected. Stay tuned for updates]

 

  1. Fundraising: there was a detailed discussion on needs for and modes of fund-raising, including crowd-funding. Several participants mentioned the need to avoid corporate sponsorship and institutional banners (other than TNRC) for TNRC-organised events such as the press meets and Pride marches. Events organized by individuals/organisations that are part of the coalition may choose to fund-raise in their own ways.

 

  1. Berry contributed Rs. 1000/- for the pride planning to Srijith. A few others contributed money for Pride march and associated events.

 

  1. The next meeting will be on March 17, 2018, 11 am, at Sahodaran.

 

PARTICIPANTS (PARTIAL LIST) 

  1. Berry
  2. Sivakumar
  3. Kamaldaasan
  4. Alex M.
  5. Brindaa
  6. Karthik Umapathy
  7. Sankari
  8. Deepan Kannan
  9. Shambhavi
  10. Srijith Sundaram
  11. Anish Anto
  12. Magdalene Regin
  13. Martin Philips J.
  14. Sebastian Joseph
  15. Kanaga
  16. Ramakrishnan
  17. Felix
  18. Bessimon Thankaraj
  19. Anju Vish
  20. TD Sivakumar
  21. Anthony Arul Valan
  22. Samantha
  23. Shalini
  24. Preetham
  25. Delfina
  26. Sudha
  27. Sharan
  28. Gowtham
  29. Andria
  30. Nazriya
  31. Heena Mary
  32. Soundarya Gobi
  33. Sadhana
  34. Bhavana
  35. Namitha

 

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