Queer Infocus | February I ’20


Queer InFocus is a bimonthly roundup of queer news in India.

Thousands throng Mumbai’s Azad Maidan in solidarity with Queer Azadi March

February 3, 2020

Thousands flocked to Azad Maidan on Saturday for Mumbai’s Pride Solidarity Gathering. The annual LGBT Pride Parade scheduled for February 1 at August Kranti Maidan was cancelled on Tuesday after an anonymous message was circulated over the weekend linking it to a protest against the CAA and the proposed nationwide NRC, leaving thousands disheartened.

Tinesh Chopade, from Humsafar Trust, claimed that the march is not linked to the nationwide protests against the central government’s citizenship legislation.

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51 booked for sedition for pro-Sharjeel Imam slogans at queer pride march

February 4, 2020

The Mumbai Police filed a sedition case against 51 persons, including activist Kris Chudawala, for allegedly chanting slogans in support of Sharjeel Imam at Mumbai’s Pride gathering on Saturday. Kirit Somaiya from BJP, filed a case against those who chanted the slogans.

The charges included Sections 124A (sedition), 153B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration), 505 (public mischief) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code.The organisers completely dissociated themselves from the sloganeering. They said that it was irresponsible and potentially detrimental and none of the individuals raising these slogans were part of the organising process or permissions process.

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Working towards making the world a more inclusive space, says Mr Gay India 2020

February 9, 2020

Shyam Konnur from Pune bagged the title of Mr Gay India 2020 that took place between January 23 and 25. He will now be representing India at the Mr Gay World competition which will be held in Africa.

Shyam has been working towards creating safe spaces for the LGBT community since the past decade in the country. His primary focus has been working towards the betterment of the community. He has travelled to different cities in India trying to provide a platform for queer art, as well as using these spaces to sensitise and create awareness of LGBT community among the general population of India.

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Fashion designer, activist Wendell Rodricks passes away at Goa home

February 9, 2020

Wendell Rodricks, the renowned fashion designer, activist and author, passed away at his Colvale, Goa home on Wednesday. A family member said that he passed away peacefully with his partner, Jerome by his side.

Rodricks was hailed as the champion of minimalism on the fashion runway. He was involved in conceptualising the first Lakme India Fashion Week, held in 2000. He was associated with several social causes, and was especially active on the issues of environment and gay rights. In 2014, he was awarded the Padma Shri by the government.

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Queer’s rainbow flag flutters in Guwahati city

February 10, 2020

Guwahati saw over hundreds of queer individuals and allies participate in the city’s 7th Queer Pride Walk. Their aim was to take to the streets to show the society and the government that such a vibrant community exists with all might and pride as well seeking welfare of the community. They claimed that despite the decriminalization, the condition of the queer community has not improved.

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WeWork India extends medical benefits to partners of LGBTQ employees

February 11, 2020

WeWork India, a Co-working major owned by realty firm Embassy Group, becomes the first collaborative workspace provider in the country to offer medical insurance benefits to same-sex domestic partners of its employees.

“WeWork as a brand believes in leveraging the diversity of our people and is taking steps to celebrate the spirit of inclusion. Today we announce our insurance coverage policy to be LGBTQ friendly and all WeWork India employees, irrespective of gender or sexual orientation, will now be able to add partners as dependents and gain the same benefits,” WeWork India Head of People Priti Shetty said.

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Bombay HC grants pre-arrest bail to TISS student charged with sedition for chanting pro-Sharjeel slogans

February 11, 2020

On Tuesday, Bombay High Court granted interim bail to Kris Chudawala, a student of TISS, who was charged with sedition for allegedly chating pro-Sharjeel Imam slogans at the pride solidarity gathering in Mumbai.

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Haima Simoes is the Outreach Officer at the Queer Resource Center at One Future Collective.

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