As a queer and youth-led organization, the centering of queer experiences in the systems we inhabit forms a crucial element of our work at One Future Collective. Pride Month is an opportunity for us to learn about and reflect on queer lived realities, informing our work towards queer rights and freedoms throughout the year. We hope to use our spaces to build and share knowledge about queer identities, celebrate queer joy, and express solidarity. In this blog post, we’d like to take you through Pride with OFC initiatives over the years as we begin Pride Month, 2022.
Pride with OFC, 2020
In June 2020, OFC observed Pride Month through #PridewithOFC campaign. The campaign aimed to develop knowledge and resources about queer lives using a intersectional, rights-based approach, and celebrate queer people’s strength and expression through activism and art. During this year, our work during Pride was informed by the conditions of COVID-19 and initial lockdowns, which posed complex challenges of safety, mental and physical health and well-being for queer individuals.
To engage with people online we held variety of IGTV lives to understand queer affirmative counselling during COVID-19, trace the history of Pride in India and reflect on young queer people’s activism. We also collaborated with organizations like VCF India and MullenLowe Lintas Group to hold some informative workshops.
Keeping up with the spirit of Pride, we held our 12th Feminist Futures meet-up to facilitate dialogue around queer allyship and the 13th virtual meet-up for the Sanskari Girls Book Club to discuss Jump Space by Mary Anne Mohanraj.
Queer Art Festival:
Through Pride 2020, One Future Collective decided to amplify the voices of some brilliant queer artists through a showcasing of their work. We curated a completely virtual Queer Art Festival in association with Social Offline. We partnered with 10 of India’s most prominent and active LGBTQ+ organisations to bring queer movies, artists, and music to the fore. Through the Queer Art Festival, we reached 10,00,000+ people and amplified the voices of several queer artists, musicians, directors, through our channels.
During the Queer Art Festival, we also curated two important panel discussions. The first one discussed ‘Queer Mental Health’ with illustrator Sonaksha Iyengar, mental health professional Richa Vashista and researcher Sukhnidh Kaur. The second one was based on ‘Workplace Inclusion’ and was facilitated by Apurupa Vatsalya, Daniel Mendonca, Koninika Roy and Shambhavi Saxena.
Pride with OFC, 2021
For our second Pride Month in the midst of the pandemic, we wanted to focus learning and reflection to queer people’s needs for safety and healing from the second wave of COVID-19. We did this by working on encouraging allyship and support, building knowledge on technological justice as we navigate more and more of our lives in cyberspace, and hosting several celebratory spaces.
Queer Rights and Allyship (QRA) course:
Our Queer Rights and Allyship course was especially curated to encourage allies and community members to extend their support to queer communities not just during, but also beyond Pride Month by donating to queer causes, educating themselves and inculcating inclusive practices in their work and workplaces. The course was one OFC has run many times, and it was run as a free, open course to make it accessible to all. We had over 40 signups for the course and ran it in two batches, facilitated by Apurupa Vatsalya and Kuhoo Tiwari.
The main objectives of this course were to understand the basics of Gender and sexuality, navigate legal provisions and safeguards (or lack thereof) for queer communities, develop allyship and put it in practice, and understand and address the mental health needs of the queer persons.
We organized virtual events like open mic jamming, poetry reading, as well as healing spaces with art and movement. We also organized a workshop to discuss “Privacy and Gender”. Here, we talked about technology, safety and identity for queer folks and gender minorities – from gender injustice to tech policies, and to the use of dating apps to track people.
We had over 120 sign-ups across two weekends with over 9 events to attend!
In addition to these events, we also curated lists of state-specific policies for trans folks in India that deal with health, education, skill and economic support for trans folks.
Pride with OFC, 2022
We are very excited to welcome you to our Pride journey for 2022, as we navigate several key intersecting axes along which queer lives are organized, and continue to center safety and joy in our work with the built and social environments of queer folks.
This year, Pride with OFC is going to be all about building knowledge about and celebrating LGBTQIA+ realities in unique and engaging ways. Our objective is simple: as queer folks, this year (as we strive to do every day of the year), we take up space, represent our lived experiences, and collaboratively work on creating safer, healthier, happier worlds!
As a part of this, OFC will be hosting a range of virtual and in-person events, including community spaces, sharing circles, workshops, Instagram lives, discussions on queer art and literature, online courses, and offline educational spaces in residential homes and local shops.
- We are launching a Solidarity Program, through which will engage 20 volunteers, who are allies or identify as queer, towards building community awareness. Sign up: bit.ly/OFCSolidarityProgram
- We will hold space, both offline and online, for celebration and for us to come together as communities. Sign up for spaces now: bit.ly/OFCPrideSpaces
- We are also going to spend some time building knowledge throughout this month. You can sign up for a course or a workshop as an individual, or apply as an organisation/group!
- Queer Rights and Allyship (Paid Certificate Course): bit.ly/QRA_ApplyNow (Certificate Course – Paid)
- Queer Rights and Allyship (Free Group Workshops) bit.ly/QRAWorkshop_ApplyNow
- You can also keep an eye out for Instagram lives, blogs, and resources about various personal and political queer concerns, and fun collaborations with a queer artist!
We are beyond excited to kick this month off and celebrate the joy of being queer with all of you. See you all at Pride With OFC.
To know more about our work during Pride, 2022, visit: https://bit.ly/PrideWithOFC2022_KnowMore
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Pride with OFC: Over the Years
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