Orinam, founded in 2003, is an all-volunteer unregistered collective of LGBTI people and allies based in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. It functions as a support, cultural and activist space. On-the-ground activities including meet-ups, peer counselling and referrals, film festivals and literary events, sensitisation workshops, and advocacy and networking with other LGBTI and other progressive groups and movements in the city, state and country.
Orinam (ஓரினம்) is a Tamil word that means ‘One kind’ or ‘One community’.
Our Vision is a world where individuals of all sexual orientations and genders are able to access their human rights free of discrimination.
Our Mission is to enhance understanding of alternate sexualities and gender identities among families, communities and society (with a geo-cultural Tamil Nadu, India, focus) and provide a platform for creative expression, personal and social commentary by LGBT people of Tamil origin and our allies.
Our Values include a commitment to ending sexism, homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia, both internal and external to our communities. We also oppose prejudice based on community, caste, place of origin, ethnicity, ability, religion, and other visible and invisible markers of identity. Please call us out on our own prejudices, should you find any in the editorial content of this website.
Our Tagline, also the rallying call of Chennai’s first Rainbow Pride held in 2009, is the quote by Tamil poet and freedom fighter Mahakavi Bharathi, translated as:
Hues may vary, but humanity does not
This line stresses the notion of sameness across difference, or unity in diversity, a cornerstone of India’s national aspiration and basis for the LGBT struggle for equality.
Our logo represents the spectrum of genders and sexualities beyond binaries. The gender symbols in different colours merge into the ‘O’ of Orinam, indicating a fundamental oneness, as articulated in Bharathiyar’s quote.
Our website Orinam.net, first launched in October 2006, is a bilingual site (Tamil and English), that serves as an online resource for those of us who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, particularly those with cultural ties to Tamil Nadu, India, and its global diaspora.
This site has multiple sections:
Resources For has information for those seeking to learn about LGBTI issues in the Indian milieu, such as our families, friends, allies, and professionals from fields such as media, healthcare, law, religion, and the world of work. This section also has resources for LGBTIs on coming out, dealing with friends and family, workplace and campus issues, health and wellness among many other resources.
Our Voices – The Orinam blog features narratives by LGBTI people and our families, creative writing including poetry and fiction, and news, views and reviews.
The 377 archives with information and updates on India’s efforts to overturn the colonial sodomy law Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code
The Orinam Photo archives with images of queer/trans community events around India.
CIQFF Official website of Chennai International Queer Film Festival.
377 Letters Letters written to the Chief Justice of India, Supreme Court of India, why decriminalisation of same-sex relationships matters.
Chennai Pride Information and event updates on Chennai Rainbow Pride.
Our Twitter page @chennaipride is a way to keep informed of LGBT-related events in and around Chennai, new content on our website, and news of relevance to the broader LGBT-and-ally communities of which we are a part.
Our mailing list firstname.lastname@example.org, initiated in 2003, is a discussion forum and safe online space for the LGBT communities in Chennai and those with ties to the Tamil Nadu region, cultures and communities. Much of the content on the Orinam.net is selected from discussions on the MP list, reproduced with consent of the authors.
- Adarsh Prasanna (Orinam name)
- Moulee (content, migration, interface with developers 2013-)
- Niruj, Mayur, Danish (377.orinam.net content)
- Rahul Gabrielle (logos of Orinam, Chennai Pride and Campaign for Open Minds)
- Rajani (web design, maintenance and content development 2006-2010)
- PT, Sami, Moulee, Ramki, Rajani, Aravind, Arthi (editing and review)
- Arthi, PT, Venkat (Translation)
The Orinam.net website is not supported by any institutional funding. It is an autonomous site made possible by donations and time volunteered by individuals from the Orinam/MP collective and well-wishers. If you would like to contribute towards web-hosting renewal charges or assist with text, images, or other content for this website, please let us know.
This post is also available in: தமிழ் (Tamil)