This page answers the commonly asked questions, many sent in by our readers over the years. If you would like to know more details, you can post your questions on the Facebook event page or use the form at the end of this page.
When is the Chennai Rainbow* Pride march?
Chennai’s tenth Rainbow Pride / Self Respect march has been scheduled for 24th of June 2018, the last Sunday of the month (subject to police permission). Keep a watch on the Facebook page and event page for for updates of 2018 Pride.
What should I do to be a part of the pride parade/pride events?
Just show up on the scheduled date and time at the venue. There is no registration, and there are no tickets.
Isn’t the march illegal, as per Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code?
No, Section 377 does not criminalise people identifying themselves as LGBTI or as allies, and does not criminalise events such as marches, film festivals or other ways in which we exercise our constitutionally guaranteed freedom of expression in a peaceful manner. The Pride organisers in Chennai always obtain police permission for the venue. *Incidentally, we are optimistic that the constitutional bench hearings on Section 377 this year will finally rid us of this archaic law.
Why don’t you march on Marina beach like you used to do in the early years?
Since 2013, the office of the Superintendent of Police in Chennai, the permission-granting authority, has only been allowing health-awareness rallies and human chains to be held at the Marina. Egmore, near Rajarathnam Stadium, is now the designated venue for events such as the Pride walk, and Valluvarkottam the designated venue for sit-in protests.
Who organises the pride parade/pride events?
The pride parade and press meets are organised by the umbrella collective called Tamil Nadu Rainbow Coalition. Additionally, one or more member organisations may take a lead in organising other pride events such as cultural events and workshops. The same will be mentioned in the event invite. Orinam is, incidentally, one of the members of the Coalition, and maintains this website on behalf of the Coalition. It is not the sole organiser of the Pride march.
This will be my first pride march. I have seen only photographs and videos of pride parades so far. In them, I see that people wear very colourful clothes and accessories. I do not have such clothes and accessories and I am comfortable with my usual way of dressing? Can I turn up as I am?
You are welcome as you are. One of the very purposes of the pride march is to be able to express ourselves and be who we are. No one will judge you for who you are or the clothes you wear. Inclusiveness is our only aim.
I am heterosexual. Will my being at Pride cause others to assume I am gay?
The group of people marching at Pride includes many heterosexual supporters, friends, family members and colleagues of LGBT people, allies from other groups and progressive movements, in addition to those from the gay, lesbian, bi, trans, intersex, gender-fluid communities. So, no, your being there should not – in and of itself – cause people to assume you are gay, bi, trans or queer. If you want to emphasise the point of your heterosexuality, consider bringing a placard that says “Straight but not narrow” or “Straight Ally” or “I support LGBTIQA+ rights”. Also, remember that we are working towards a society where being called LGBTIQA+ is not a slur or something to be embarrassed or ashamed about, and where the notion of Pride includes pride in being a supporter of rights for people of all sexualities and genders, regardless of your own sexuality or gender.
I do not live in Chennai, but I would like to attend the pride parade/ pride event. I cannot afford to rent a room in a hotel or lodge. Would you be able to arrange for my accommodation?
The coalition does not provide accommodation officially. However, individual community members are more than happy to provide visitors a place to crash for the night and to get freshened up. As the number of volunteers with places to host is limited, we suggest you send in your request well ahead of time, via the Pride Facebook page, email list, or other communication channel. The coalition leaves such requests and subsequent negotiations up to the person making the request, and ask that you verify the authenticity and intentions of the person offering accommodation independently. The coalition assumes no liability in this regard.
Uff, so many terms! I thought I understood gay and transgender and lesbian. But who are bisexuals? Transmen? Intersex people? Why can’t we just all call ourselves gay and be done with it?
Expecting every non-heterosexual non-cisgender person to identify with the term ‘gay’ makes no more sense than expecting all women to feel included by the term ‘guys’. We are diverse, and the alphabet soup, imperfect as it may be, is an attempt to acknowledge and honour this diversity. To help you along, here is a simple glossary of terms in English and Tamil.
Our company/organization/cultural commission/consulate would like to send a contingent to the Pride march. How do we do this?
We welcome participants from both non-profit and for-profit groups as well as unaffiliated individuals. If you are a corporation, cultural organization or consulate, and would like to show your support for Chennai Pride, for your LGBTIQA+ employees, and for the principles of diversity and inclusion, you are welcome to send a contingent to the Pride march. You are welcome to wear your company t-shirts and carry placards supporting LGBTIQA+rights. However, learning from the experiences of other Pride marches which have become platforms for product placement and marketing, we respectfully ask that organizations (both for-profit and non-profit) (i) not use the forum to advertise your products whether through ads, banners, pamphlets or leaflets, or handing out freebies (including rainbow flags, t-shirts, keychains, stationery items, etc., with branding of your organization), AND (ii) allow the community groups to march ahead of you.This is non-negotiable. For further questions send us a message.
We are a queer/ally non-profit group or collective. Can we march with our group’s banner?
You are welcome to march with banners and placards with general messages about LGBTIQA+ rights. However, no names, logos or other symbols of your CBO, NGO, campus group, or collective on banners, placards, flyers or handouts, please. This is non-negotiable.
I would like to participate in the Pride march but I am not out, and do not want to disclose my identity.
Masks will be available at the venue, and you can arrange to pick them up before the media gets there.
Is the Pride march venue accessible to people with disability?
People with disabilities are an integral part of our LGBTIQA+ and ally communities. It is our endeavour to make the Pride march as accessible as possible. While the route allotted by the government is not very wheelchair-friendly, we will be happy to arrange cars that can accommodate wheelchairs, if you let us know 7-10 days in advance. Further, if you need sign language interpretation or volunteers to narrate the proceedings as they traverse the pride route with you, please let us know at least a week in advance.
What should I do if a member of the press wants to interview me?
It is entirely up to you to give consent, to provide your name, identify as a member or ally of the LGBT community, or not. If you do give consent, and if the press asks you what the purpose of the march is, you can mention some of the points in the Pride press release, that will be available in English and Tamil.
Is there a party before or after the Pride march?
Typically the Coalition does not organise parties. However there may be private parties organised by unaffiliated groups. Feel free to contact us and we will put you in touch with party organizers.
I would like to donate to the pride parade/pride events. Whom should I contact?
You can use the below contact form to reach out to us. One of the volunteers from the organising committee will contact you. For faster communication, please leave your contact number. One of the NGOs that is a member of the coalition will be able to provide you details for a NEFT bank transfer or pick up cash and give you a receipt. All donations go strictly towards supplies such as water, stationery for placards, banners, renting spaces for planning meeting, press meets, other Pride-related events, and other logistics including local travel to carry banners and water cans to the venue. Chennai Rainbow / Self Respect Pride is a non-commercial event, funded entirely through community donations.
At this time we are not accepting donations from for-profit businesses, corporate-associated foundations or their CSR wings. However LGBTIQA+ people and allies who are employees of businesses are welcome to donate in their personal capacity. Non-profits and volunteer collectives, whether formal or informal, are welcome to donate as well.
I would like to volunteer/donate for the pride parade/pride events. Whom should I contact?
Please use the Orinam contact form to reach out to us. Depending on the nature of your query we will pass it on to the relevant Coalition member.
*Note: The Chennai Rainbow Pride march and events connected with Chennai Rainbow Pride month organized by the Tamil Nadu Rainbow Coalition and its member groups/collectives/individuals are in no way linked with fundraising attempts that bear the name ‘Chennai International Pride’ or any other brand. In case of queries, please send us a message using the form given below.
chennaipride.net is hosted and maintained by Orinam, a member of Tamil Nadu Rainbow Coalition, to provide and archive information regarding Chennai Rainbow Pride. It contains the press release, event reports, and media coverage, FAQ, and official calendar of events organized by the Tamil Nadu Rainbow Coalition and/or co-organized by its member organizations and collectives during Pride month. Archives dating back to 2010 may be accessed via the Wayback machine on archive.org here.