June 2016 has been a busy month for members of Chennai’s LGBTIQA+ and ally communities, with community events including a press meet, workshops, panel discussions, film screenings, cultural performance [full list of official events here]. The events enhanced community visibility, reached out to students, media and other groups with basic information on alternate sexual orientations and transgender identities, and provided multiple forums for community members and allies to connect.
A meet for transmen and their families, facilitated by Magdalene Jeyarathnam from the Center for Counselling will be held on June 29, as part of the annual series Muzhakkam.
On a sombre note, the mass shootings at a gay club in Orlando, Florida, USA, sparked protests world-wide, including nearly 15 in India. Reflections on this tragedy and the pervasive homophobia and transphobia we see took shape in Chennai at a vigil held on June 14 at the Press Club, a queer poetry reading on June 24, the Vannangal cultural event on June 25 and this lovely pride promo video made by Malini Jeevarathnam and friends.