Rainbow🌈Reign - Unfurl it with Pride

Koeli thumbnail
Posted: a month ago
#1

Pride  (noun)

~reasonable self-esteem, confidence and satisfaction in oneself 

~pleasure that comes from some relationship, association, achievement, or possession that is seen as a source of honor, respect, etc.

~the most active, thriving, or satisfying stage or period

~a group of lions living together

~ an event or series of events celebrating and affirming the rights, equality, and culture of LGBTQAI+ people 


With great pleasuresatisfaction and harnessing the power of a group of lions, we invite you to our very own Pride Parade on India Forums!

Join us all through the month of June, Pride Month, to learn and share about history, culture, vocabulary, LGBTQAI+ personalities and  characters.


The acronym LGBTQAI+ summarizes all the various gender "minorities" that have long asked to be added to the initial acronym "LGBT", referring to "lesbians", "gays", "bisexuals" and "trans". In the latest version chosen by the "rainbow" movement, it includes the addition of: Q ("queer"; I ("intersexual"); A ("asexual") and the "+" which indicates other expressions of gender and sexuality , such as gender fluid, non-binary, pansexual, demisexual, etc.

 

The month of June is a time of celebration, awareness and inclusiveness of this community. Events across the world have the aim of promoting visibility, equality and the affirmation of the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQAI+) people.

 The symbolic value of Pride is enormous: there are dozens of countries in which sexual orientation is still a reason for discrimination and violence. This is why, every year, it becomes fundamental to affirm with determination the right to live one's sexuality freely.

The term "pride" was chosen to contrast a reality of shame and oppression experienced by many LGBTQAI+ people for decades. Consequently, in a context where homosexuality was criminalized and stigmatized, declaring one's "pride" meant claiming dignity and the right to live one's identity openly, without fear of retaliation or discrimination. This word therefore represents a powerful affirmation of visibility and self-esteem in response to marginalization and violence. 

Pride is a public demonstration open to all people, regardless of their sexual orientation and gender identity. This also includes heterosexual and cisgender people, meaning those who identify with the biological sex assigned at birth. 

The support of "straight allies" is crucial in fighting prejudice and stigma against LGBTQAI+ people. The presence and support of allies at Pride highlights the importance of unity and solidarity in promoting equality and rights for all.

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ImageWorldwide, 9% of the population defines itself as part of this community. And while Brazil, Spain and Switzerland are the countries with the highest number of people who identify as homosexual, bisexual, pansexual and omnisexual (Brazil has the highest percentage, 15%), Poland, Japan and Peru have the lowest number (in Peru they are just 4%).

Image48 countries in Europe have legalized consensual same-sex acts between adults in private as of June 2023. In the Americas, 29 countries have done so, followed by 22 countries in Africa and 22 countries in Asia.

ImageEurope has 18 countries which have legalized same sex marriage as of 2022.

ImageThe average age LGBQ+ youth realized they were something other than heterosexual was about 11 years old; the average age transgender and gender-expansive youth realized they were something other than cisgender was 12 1/2 years old.

ImageThe Public Religion Research Institute’s survey found that found 72% of Gen Z adults identified as straight, 15% as bisexual, 5% as gay or lesbian and 8% as something else

ImageThe global statistics on support for transgender athletes competing based on the gender they identify with, rather than the sex they were assigned at birth stands as: 32% for, 32% against and 36% neutral. 


ImageHarvey Milk became the first openly gay elected official in California when he won a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977. His election was a landmark moment in LGBTQAI+ political history in the United States.

ImageOn May 17, 1990, the World Health Organization eliminated homosexuality from the list of mental illnesses. On this day we celebrate the International Day Against Homophobia.

ImageThe largest Pride Parade in the world is in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The Sao Paulo Gay Pride parade began with 2,000 participants in 1997, but has since grown to millions. In 2006, the Guinness Book of Records named it the largest Pride celebration in the world, with 2.5 million attendees.

ImageThe rainbow flag, often used as a symbol of LGBTQ+ pride, was created by artist Gilbert Baker in 1978. Each color of the flag represents a different aspect of LGBTQ+ life and identity

ImageThe first gay doll was released in 1977. His name was Gay Bob, he wore an earring and the box was shaped like a wardrobe

ImageEurope announced an international event which it called Europride. Every year, the event is hosted by a different European city. This year is in Thessaloniki, Greece.

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As a token of support and solidarity for the LGBTQAI+ community, we have this gorgeous siggy designed by Koeli for you to display all through Pride month

Whether you are an ally or aspire to be one, or belong to the community, or are just learning what Pride is all about, you are welcome to use the siggy in all it's vibrant glory to spell out the message that Love is love, Love is Pride.  


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PRIDE WILL REMAIN A PROTEST AS LONG AS THERE'S A SINGLE COUNTRY WHERE EXISTENCE OF LGBTQAI+ INDIVIDUALS IS ILLEGAL

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As you navigate the rest of the posts in this thread, we hope you are moved by the inspiring stories shared, awakened by the eye- opening facts, and called to action by the gaps that still exist. We hope the LGBTQAI+  community makes more allies and uses this thread as a safe space to share their stories. This is our humble attempt at being allies

We are herewe are proud allies. 

Are you too?


DreamOfEndless LizzieBennet |

Koeli Quantum_Dot Sevenstreaks 

ExoticDisaster oh_nakhrewaali WildestDreams

Edited by oh_nakhrewaali - 18 days ago

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Koeli thumbnail
Posted: a month ago
#2

D I S C L A I M E R


We have created this space to spread awareness. We do not claim to be the voice of the community. If you belong to the LGBTQAI+ community and see something inaccurate or falsely represented in this thread, please feel free to contact any of the team members via PM.


This thread contains material about to sex, sexual identity and other such topics. Reader discretion is advised.

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Kindly always remember to follow IF Code Of Conduct while posting in the thread. 


Respect and Inclusivity: Treat others with respect and kindness. We do not tolerate discrimination or offensive behavior. 

Zero Tolerance for Queerphobia: Queerphobic comments, discrimination or any form of offensive behavior towards the LGBTQAI+ community will not be accepted and WLs will be directly raised for offenders. 

Awareness: We encourage discussion and information sharing to promote awareness of the LGBTQAI+ community. 

Safe Space: This forum is a safe place for all members of the LGBTQAI+ community. We respect and welcome all sexual orientations and gender identities. Severe actions will be taken on ANY post and member that utilizes foul or vulgar language.

MAP (Minor Attracted People) content: Content about minor attracted people is not allowed as they are not part of the LGBTQAI+ community. Kindly refrain from any discussions on this topic. 

Political and religious ideologies: Please keep this thread free of any political ideologies or religious topics. You can talk about laws and policies affecting LGBTQAI+ people. Any other irrelevant or inflammatory posts will be removed or moved to the relevant forum.


We understand the importance of allowing freedom of expression but please also remember that with every freedom comes the responsibility to use it wisely. Though constructive criticism is allowed, hate speech is absolutely not. Keep in mind that this is a safe space for the LGBTQAI+ community & their allies and so strict action will be taken against members who make queerphobic, sarcastic, instigating posts or mock or make personal attacks on another member or the community directly or indirectly.


This is a celebration thread. Please help us in keeping this thread positive, friendly and welcoming. 


Lastly, make sure you read this post thoroughly before participating in the thread. Offenders cannot later claim that they did not read the post in order to escape consequences. If you are posting on the thread, we will assume you have read this post.

Edited by oh_nakhrewaali - 27 days ago
WildestDreams thumbnail
Posted: 29 days ago
#3

When did Pride start? When and where was the first Pride Parade held ?

Why is the rainbow associated with Pride? When was homosexuality legalized? What are the current laws for LGBTQAI+ community in India and across the world?

You may have wondered about some of these questions. 

In this post, we present to you some key facts on

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 1. Stonewall Riots: One of the most important moments in the history of Pride is represented by the Stonewall riots that occurred in June 1969 in New York City. These riots were sparked by a series of police raids at the gay bar Stonewall Inn, and represent the turning point when the LGBTQAI+ community began to publicly fight against oppression and discrimination.

 2. First Pride Parade: The first Pride Parade was held the following year, in 1970, to commemorate the first anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. Pride marches have continued to grow and spread around the world as a symbol of unity and the reclamation of LGBTQAI+ rights. 

3. Rainbow Symbolism: The rainbow has become the universal symbol of Pride, representing the diversity and pride of the community. It was created by Gilbert Baker in 1978 and has since been adopted around the world as a symbol of unity and solidarity. 

4. Legislative Progress: Over the years, the Pride movement has helped achieve important legislative progress for LGBTQAI+ rights, such as marriage equality, laws against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and access to medical care. 

5. Celebration of diversity: In addition to being a political demonstration, Pride has also become a celebration of diversity and LGBTQAI+ pride with festivals, cultural events, performances and other activities celebrating the community around the world. Pride continues to evolve and grow, keeping alive the fight for equality and complete acceptance of the community around the world.

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In India, laws affecting the community have undergone significant changes in recent years, including some landmark judgments that have changed the lives of the LGBTQAI+ community.

 Here are some of the notable ones.

1. Section 377 IPC: Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code was a colonial law that criminalized “unnatural” sexual intercourse, including same-sex intercourse. However, in 2018 the Supreme Court of India decriminalized homosexuality by declaring Section 377 unconstitutional. 

2. Rights of transgender people: In 2019, the Supreme Court issued a landmark decision recognizing the rights of transgender people, including the right to self-identify gender without sexual reassignment surgery. The Court also ordered welfare measures to ensure equality of opportunities and protection of fundamental rights of transgender people.

 3. LGBTQAI+ Worker Rights: In 2020, the Supreme Court ruled that LGBTQAI+ workers are protected by employment discrimination laws. This decision expanded the rights of LGBTQAI+ workers in hiring, promotion and working conditions. 

4. Marriage equality: There is currently no federal law in India that allows marriage equality. However, some states have adopted laws allowing the recognition of civil unions or same-sex marriage. 


While there has been significant progress in protecting LGBTQAI+ rights in India, there is still much to be done to address discrimination and ensure de facto equality for all members of the LGBTQAI+ community.

Trans people continue to be marginalized and live in poverty, facing higher rates of unemployment, while also being denied access to quality healthcare because of conservatism and deep-rooted societal mindsets.

 Intersex persons are not protected from violations to physical integrity and bodily autonomy with cases of infanticide having been reported involving infants with obvious intersex conditions at birth.

Although same-sex civil unions are recognized, the recent ruling on same-sex marriage by the Supreme Court, deferring it to a parliamentary decision, has dashed the hopes of millions of LGBTQAI+ people seeking marriage equality.

  

This Pride Month, we hope that there comes a day where no law stops anyone from following their heart, and no stigma denies a person their basic right to live. We salute the long battle fought by the LGBTQAI+ community and their strength and persistence. Our hearts go out to those who face hate and violence simply for being who they are.

We stand in solidarity with the LGBTQAI+ people, and against queerphobia and hate. 

We stand for love.

Edited by oh_nakhrewaali - 27 days ago
WildestDreams thumbnail
Posted: 29 days ago
#4

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There are several myths and false beliefs circulating regarding the LGBTQAI+ community. We have gathered just a few misconceptions that the members of the LGBTQAI+ community often face. 


You may already be aware of some of them, but if not, we hope this list helps you the next time you hear someone spreading myths and disinformation, and thereby show your allyship to the community.


1- One can "become" LGBTQAI+ due to external influences.

There is no evidence that environment, education or social relationships can change a person's sexual orientation or gender identity. 


2- Homosexuality is an illness or disorder.

Homosexuality was removed from the official lists of mental illnesses decades ago, thanks to the advancement of scientific knowledge and the recognition that being gay does not constitute a psychological problem, nor it is a choice, just like being straight isn't a choice.


3- LGBTQAI+ parents cannot raise healthy and heterosexual children.

The ability to be loving and competent parents is not affected by sexual orientation or gender identity. Studies show that children raised by LGBTQAI+ parents develop in the same way as children raised by heterosexual parents. LGBTQAI+ couples can raise heterosexual children with just as much love, support and care as any other couple. What really matters is the parents' love and commitment, not their sexual orientation.


4- LGBTQAI+ relationships are not as stable as heterosexual ones.

The stability of a relationship depends on the quality of communication, mutual respect and compatibility of partners, not on sexual orientation. If the partners in question are committed to each other, any relationship can survive and thrive.


5- Transgender identity is just a “phase”.

Gender identity is a fundamental part of who we are as people and is not something that changes arbitrarily or as part of a “phase.” Transgender people often have a clear awareness that their gender does not correspond to the sex assigned to them at birth and deserve the same respect and recognition as other gender identities. 


6- There are no representations of LGBTQAI+ people in mainstream mythology. 

Many cultures have narratives that can be interpreted in ways that include LGBTQAI+ elements. For example, in Greek mythology, there are stories such as that of Apollo and Hyacinthus or Achilles and Patroclus that have been interpreted as examples of homosexual relationships. In Norse mythology, some interpretations suggest that Loki, the God of mischief, may be considered gender fluid. 

Traditional Hindu literary sources do not speak of homosexuality directly, but changes of sex, homoerotic encounters, and intersex or third gender characters are often found both in traditional religious narratives such as the Vedas, Mahabharata, Ramayana and Puranas as well as in regional folklore.

It holds significance to recognize that mythology is often open to interpretation and that narratives can be revisited to reflect a wider range of identities and experiences.


7- People from the LGBTQAI + community are predatory/molesters. 

The LGBTQAI+ community is not defined by the harassing behavior of a few individuals, just as no other community is defined by the negative behavior of a few. The vast majority of LGBTQAI+ people are individuals who respect the rights of others and are committed to promoting equality and mutual respect. Judging an entire community based on the actions of a few would be unfair and unrepresentative of reality.


These myths are just the tip of the iceberg. So many more still prevail about the LGBTQAI+ community despite there being a wealth of information at our fingertips. We need to ask ourselves if we're doing enough to educate not just ourselves but also the people around us. Education and awareness remain vital in dispelling hate and misinformation and inching towards a more inclusive world.

Edited by oh_nakhrewaali - 27 days ago
ExoticDisaster thumbnail
Posted: 29 days ago
#5

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The LGBTQAI+ community continues to grow and thrive globally, with more and more being empowered to come out as  inclusive laws are being implemented and public perception about them grows.

While allyship and support gain momentum with increasing awareness, dissenters continue to be equally vocal. In such a scenario, let us take a look at some people from the LGBTQAI+ community who have battled misconceptions and prejudices and come out victorious in their own personal struggle for their identities, and continue to wage war against discrimination in their own unique ways.


Dutee Chand


Dutee is the first Indian to take home a gold medal in the 100-meter race at an international competition  and the first openly queer athlete in India. 

Other than covering miles on foot, Dutee tried her fate with law studies in 2013 at KIIT University. She is currently employed by the state-owned PSU The Odisha Mining Corporation Ltd. as an executive officer.

She was dropped from the 2014 Commonwealth Games at the last minute after the Athletic Federation of India claimed that hyperandrogenism made her ineligible to compete as a female athlete. There was no suggestion that Chand was involved in cheating or doping, and the decision was widely criticized by intersex advocates.

In 2015, The IAAF policy on hyperandrogenism was suspended following the case of Dutee Chand v. Athletics Federation of India (AFI) & The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), in the Court of Arbitration for Sport. The ruling found that there was a lack of evidence provided that testosterone increased female athletic performance. This effectively removed the suspension of Chand from competition, clearing her to race again.

In 2019, Dutee publicly declared that she is in a same-sex relationship. She claimed that the Indian Supreme Court's decision to decriminalize homosexuality in 2018 encouraged her to speak publicly about her sexuality. She faced severe backlash from her village after her announcement, the residents disowning her remarks and calling them "humiliating."

However, Dutee Chand and her partner, Monalisa's relationship has only been growing stronger over the last 4 years.



Hida Viloria


Hida Viloria is intersex, non-binary and genderfluid and goes by the pronouns they/ them.  They were born with congenital adrenal hyperplasia and their father chose not to subject them to corrective surgery as it could add to health risks. Viloria grew up to be an active advocate against the use of medically unnecessary cosmetic surgeries and hormone therapy on intersex infants and minors. They published a book, Born Both: An Intersex life which was nominated for a 2018 Lambda Literary Award for LGBTQAI+ non-fiction.

Viloria also actively lobbied as an independent intersex activist for equal rights for intersex female athletes on television, in response to the treatment of Caster Semaya, a black South African track star.  They authored a petition to the International Olympic Committee demanding that intersex women athletes be allowed to compete as is. The petition compelled the IOC and IAAF to discontinue its use of "disorders of sex development" to describe the athletes in question, and replace it with "women with hyperandrogenism."

In 2007, they appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, speaking about society's lack of understanding of non-binary people, and the pressure they experience to identify as men or women.

In 2011, Viloria founded the Intersex Campaign for Equality, to work for equality and human rights for intersex Americans.

In 2013, Viloria became the first openly intersex person to speak at the U.N. on Human Rights Day. Viloria is recognized as a leading human rights activist for intersex people and is the Founding Director of the Intersex Campaign for Equality. They continue to advocate for the rights of intersex people, correcting misconceptions about them, particularly those revolving  around how being intersex is not about gender identity or sexual orientation.


Jonathan Bailey


Described as “the internet’s boyfriend’’ and crushed on by girls, gays and theys alike, Jonathan Bailey has quickly become the celebrity poster boy for the LGBTQAI+ movement. The actor has confessed to recognizing he was gay when he was all of 11, which made his school experience extremely traumatic. Although he came out to close family and friends when he was in his 20s, the fear of getting rejected as an actor kept him closeted until quite recently.
Bailey had always wanted to be an actor, starting out as Tiny Tim in The Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of The Christmas Carol. JB, as he’s fondly known, went on to play memorable roles in British TV shows such as Broadchurch and Crashing.

Despite being an acclaimed theater actor, and having won the Olivier Award for Best supporting actor in 2019, it took Netflix’s Bridgerton to finally bring JB’s talents into the mainstream. Playing the eldest sibling who’s also the family patriarch, JB portrayed Anthony’s inner struggles and trauma brilliantly. His role as Tim Laughlin, an earnest, devout young gay man in 1950s America, in the limited series Fellow Travelers has positioned him as a firm favorite for an Emmy nomination. He has also recently been cast as Fiyero in the movie production of Wicked & Jurassic World 4 as well as in a cameo in the coming-of-age teen romantic series, Heartstopper, a role that he admits he actively canvassed for, emphasizing his commitment to LGBTQAI+ projects.

His co-star in Crashing, Phoebe Waller-Bridge has described him as “completely brilliant and unbelievably charismatic”, Variety has included him in its Power of Pride list of most influential queer artists in Hollywood in 2022, & TIME magazine featured him in its annual class of Next Generation Leaders in 2022 with the media declaring that JB’s success and his openness about his sexuality may have influenced more young LGBTQAI+ actors to come out.

Although JB belongs to a more accepting society and a privileged class as a young white male, a fact that he does openly acknowledge, he hasn’t been without his share of overt homophobia. He was recently attacked in DC in a coffee shop and threatened with his life, an incident that made him realize his privilege in being able to protect himself & thereby becoming more determined to vocally support the LGBTQAI+ movement, declaring himself committed to “visibility and representation”. 


Jiae 


"I want to live an ordinary life. I love men and women."

Jiae (Birth name Kim Ji-ae) is an independent South Korean singer-songwriter and a former member of the girl group Wassup, which disbanded in 2019. She made her solo debut on October 8, 2022, with the full-length album Love is Love. 

She confessed to thinking about dating women after feeling that her relationships with men lacked something that led her to believe that she didn't necessarily need to date only men. She came out after she had asked for queer movie recommendations and got negative comments for doing so. 

Jiae has said that she is criticized by other sexual minorities for being bi-sexual rather than lesbian. An ex-girlfriend once asked her if she could just say that she was a lesbian as she was giving men hope. Jiae also admitted that she tried to return to the entertainment industry but was discouraged by how people viewed her after coming out about her sexuality, and admitted that she became depressed and believed that people's view of sexual minorities affected her work.

When she confided in her mother about not being able to date men because she was seeing a girl, her mother readily accepted it. Her family has since embraced her sexuality, and she now goes on double dates with her siblings and their partners. 


Pragati Singh


Dr. Pragati Singh is a public health official, a doctor, an activist and identifies as asexual, specifically gray asexual. Founder of Indian Aces, the first-of-its-kind organization for asexual representation, education and outreach, Pragati was featured in the BBC’s 2019 list of top 100 inspiring and influential women from around the world. Raised in Delhi and graduating from the Maulana Azad Medical College, Pragati also launched Platonicity, a friend finding platform for asexuals, initially run as an adjunct page on Facebook, but now operating offline in Urban centers, and helping build the community. 

Having published a research paper on asexuality in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, Pragati acknowledges that there is a hierarchy of power, visibility, and representation even within the LGBTQAI+ community with intersex and asexual people having felt invisible for a long time. She continues to vociferously advocate for sexual health and rights, with the vision to create a world where a person’s sexuality or asexuality does not cause them distress.


Sushant Divgikar


"I'm gender fluid. My preferred pronouns are he, she, and they."

Sushant Divgikar, also known as Rani Ko-HE-Nur, is an Indian model, actor, singer, columnist, motivational speaker, drag queen, pageant director, and video jockey. In July 2014, they were crowned Mr Gay India 2014. They represented India at Mr Gay World 2014.

They came out about their gender identity because it gave them anxiety which they couldn't cope with. They also said that they will always be attracted to men and that they are non-binary person.

Sushant confessed feeling blessed being born into a family like theirs, where their father didn't judge them for playing with dolls, and their mother said that she was blessed to have a daughter and son in one child. They were allowed to express themselves differently from other boys. They admitted that as a kid from the 90s with no access to people from the community, their source of strength was their parents, who had no rules on gender.

Sushant holds a Masters Degree in Industrial and Organisational Psychology.

Sushant made history in 2018 when they entered the top 15 of the reality competition show Sa Re Ga Ma Pa as Rani Ko-HE-Nur, the first drag queen in India to do so and the first member of the LGBTQAI+ community to win a golden buzzer. Sushant was the only delegate from India to win three sub-prizes at Mr. Gay World 2014, in addition to receiving several special awards.


Vivek Shraya


Vivek Shraya, a Canadian artist, musician, and writer, has emerged as a vital figure in the LGBTQAI+ community, using her diverse talents to champion queer rights. Her creative endeavors delve into the intricacies of identity, gender, and sexuality, amplifying marginalized voices and advocating for acceptance.

Growing up in a conservative Indian family in Alberta, Canada, Shraya grappled with societal expectations and her own desires, initially coming out as gay in her twenties amidst feelings of shame and isolation. However, it was in her thirties that she fully embraced her trans identity, overcoming childhood silencing and finding solace through music.

As an accomplished writer, Shraya explores the intersections of race, gender, and sexuality in her novels and poetry collections, contributing significantly to LGBTQAI+ literature. Her acclaimed work "I'm Afraid of Men'' candidly reflects on the hostility faced by queer and gender-nonconforming individuals, offering insights into navigating and resisting societal norms.

Her contributions have earned her prestigious awards, including the Lambda Literary Award and the Writers' Trust of Canada's Dayne Ogilvie Prize, solidifying her legacy as a beacon of hope and inspiration in a world often hostile to diversity.


There are many many more such brave, talented people whom each one of us can take inspiration from and strive towards our own goals, whether they are coming out or being allies or simply owning our truths whatever they might be and fighting for our right to be who we are.

Edited by oh_nakhrewaali - 27 days ago
LizzieBennet thumbnail
Posted: 29 days ago
#6


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What is an Ally

An ally is someone who belongs to a dominant group but who works actively to advocate for the oppressed or marginalized group.

There is no one set way to be an LGBTQAI + ally, allyship can mean different things for different people.  

Just know that it can go far beyond just reading and 'liking' our posts or commenting on this thread.


Here are some ways you can start:


Image The 3 Ls: Learn, learn, learn. So many misconceptions persist about the queer community that not only perpetuate unconscious bias and harmful stereotypes, but also spread misinformation. The first step to being an ally is to first educate yourself. How can you speak up or support someone without knowing everything there is to know about them? And there’s a world of information on the internet! Don’t just wait to ask a gay friend or a queer colleague! Be proactive and hit that Google Search! You can learn about the origin of the Pride movement, LGBTQAI+ history, terminology, the stigmas and struggles facing the community today where you live.


Image Own up to mistakes: Educating yourself does not mean you have all the answers. You will make mistakes and that is totally okay. Be humble, apologize and ask to be corrected. You may accidentally assume someone’s gender, or address someone with the wrong pronoun or by their deadname. No one is going to send you to LGBTQAI+ jail. You can say something like: "I’m sorry, that was unintentional. I’m trying to be a better ally and I’m still working on it. Please correct me if I get something wrong."  You will only be appreciated for your honesty and humility!


Image Listen and accept: According to a research study, most people from the LGBTQAI+ community feel that the foremost quality of allyship is acceptance. Not surprising since this community has remained marginalized and continues to have certain basic rights that cis-hets/ allosexuals take for granted denied to them. So wholehearted acceptance would be the starting point for allyship, followed by supporting an LGBTQAI+ individual at home, the workplace or your community. Make yourself their safe space where they feel they can come out to you or just talk to you and listen without prejudice or judgment. Do not assume that just because they have come out to you, they’re ready to come out to the world.  Allow the LGBTQAI+ peson to tell whom they want at their own pace and support them through it.


Image Speak up: There is no such thing as a silent ally. Allyship means taking action. Whether it’s participating in rallies, creating opportunities for other allies to join in a task force, speaking up against harmful narratives and stereotypes, stepping up to support your LGBTQAI+ friend or coworker or just simply educating yourself about their issues. It can take time, energy and might lead to negative consequences for yourself, so it needs a great deal of courage as well. Nonetheless, speak up when you hear queerphobic comments or jokes or when you hear someone being misgendered. Be vocal and be visible whether it’s offering your support to LGBTQAI+ businesses and charities or withdrawing your support for those who spread hate against them. 


Image Check your privilege: Being an ally can be tough and you can decide it’s not worth your time but that’s precisely when you need to check your privilege. To quit is really an example of privilege. You may be exhausted from facing constant resistance and hate but remember, the people you are standing up for don’t have the option to walk away. We all have some type of privilege - whether it's race, age, class, education, gender, ability or sexuality. Being privileged doesn't mean that you have not had your fair share of struggles in life. It just means that there are some things you won't ever have to think or worry about just because of the way you were born. Understanding your own privileges can help you empathize with marginalized or oppressed groups.  


Image Don’t make assumptions: You may prefix labels about someone’s gender or sexuality by their appearance or their name. Don't assume that all of your friends, co-workers, and even housemates are straight or their gender or pronouns. Remember to avoid stereotyping people based on their looks or what you know of their past. Sexuality is fluid and someone's current or previous partner doesn't define their sexuality. Also do not assume it is okay to speak in public about someone’s sexuality or gender even if they have disclosed it to you.  Not making assumptions allows an individual to feel relaxed and speak to you openly about their authentic self. At the same time, telling someone your own pronouns can help clear the way for someone to tell you theirs. Try to integrate inclusive language in your daily speech, using gender neutral terms such as ‘partner’ or ‘significant other’ instead of gendered ones or referring to someone as ‘they’ when you’re unsure of their pronouns.


Image Confront your own bias and others’ biases: Being an ally means you will often find that you need to challenge any bias, stereotypes, and assumptions you didn't realize you had. Check yourself when you make jokes or even laugh at jokes, the pronouns you use and if you wrongly assume someone's partner is of a particular sex or gender just because of the way they look and act. LGBTQAI+ prejudices can be subtle and sometimes queerphobia exists even within the LGBTQAI+ community. Being a better ally means being open to the idea of being wrong sometimes and being willing to work on it. 

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You can read more by checking out the following links:

 

8 steps to being a better ally

How to Be a Better Ally to the LGBTQ+ Community

7 ways you can be a better LGBTQ+ ally

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Allyship takes so little but means so much - not just to the LGBTQAI+ community or individual for whom we stand, but also when looking at the larger goal of creating an equitable society. 

Starting small is better than not starting at all, right? Our baby steps to allyship are this thread and the activities planned all month. What are yours? It could be standing with your recently out trans colleague or classmate, attending your gay cousin's wedding or going to the Pride Parade in your city. 

Do tell us on this thread. 

Your actions may inspire others and thus give momentum to the ripple effect.

Edited by oh_nakhrewaali - 27 days ago
oh_nakhrewaali thumbnail
Posted: 29 days ago
#7

In this post, we celebrate the richness and depth brought by LGBTQAI+ characters in television and movies. Their stories inspire empathy, challenge stereotypes, and pave the way for greater representation and understanding in our communities. Join us as we explore the vibrant tapestry of LGBTQAI+ characters and their impactful journeys.

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Alex and Henry (Red, White & Royal Blue, 2023, Amazon Prime)


Alex Claremont-Diaz is the first son of President of the United States of America. Prince Henry is an English prince with a throne waiting for him. At the beginning they are enemies and in a constant struggle for popularity. But all it takes is a royal wedding, a large destroyed cake and a diplomatic incident to forge an agreement of fake friendship. Yet, between one lie and another, something real arises between the two and it is not a simple friendship. 

The easy-going Alex hides in his soul the fear of never being accepted by the rest of the world for being half Mexican, a fear that is accentuated when he realizes that he is bisexual and very, very in love with the handsome prince. 

Henry has always known he was gay but his rigid family made him believe that “dirty laundry” should not be washed to the world outside. His detachment is only a facade that he has built around his heart so as not to give in to the temptation of being what he is. He does it so as not to fall into a thousand pieces in the face of a world that may not be ready for a prince like him, who would be seen as "different".  

Alex and Henry navigate the pressures of their respective families and public positions while trying to cultivate their love. It is thanks to the intensity of what they experience in being with each other that they grow and evolve. 


Cal Bowman (Sex Education, 2019-2023, Netflix)

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Cal Bowman is first introduced as a recurring character in Season 3 of the Netflix show, Sex Education and they are shown to be a talented artist but closed, mysterious and uncomfortable with themselves and the people around them. They are often targeted by the school’s principal, who publicly shames them for their opposition to her Draconian guidelines and their way of dressing. 

Eventually, they form a close partnership with Jackson and Vivienne and help overthrow the school’s strict regime, in the process developing romantic feelings for Jackson. Cal is vocal about being non-binary, speaking up about their preferred pronouns and is upset when they realize Jackson sees them as a ‘girl’, prompting them to break-up with him. Season 4 portrays Cal’s struggle with taking testosterone and the changes it causes to their body, later leading to them hooking up with Aisha, whom she meets in Art Class. Cal also struggles with self-acceptance and ends up pushing their well-meaning & understanding mother away. The finale leads to an emotional bonding moment between them. 

Cal is one of the stand-out queer characters on this show known for its diverse characters across the LGBTQAI+ community.


Kanchan Adhia (Majaa Maa, 2022, Amazon Prime)

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The no-filter Kanchan lives with her heart on her sleeve. She is fierce and protective of the people she loves, and she has loved Pallavi her whole life. Kanchan's life had stopped at the railway station Pallavi promised to meet her, even after being married to Moolchand and Pallavi being married to another man. When she is diagnosed with cancer, she makes one last ditch attempt at persuading Pallavi to run away with her, and is turned down, given Pallavi's responsibilities as a wife and mother. 

However, life and love give them one last chance to dance together, a gesture accepted by their family members, as Maja Maa ends on a beautiful and promising high note.


Kinn-Porsche (KinnPorsche: The Series, 2022, One 31)


Porsche, a college student who works in a pub part-time, witnesses Kinn, a young Mafia Master being chased. He is initially reluctant to get involved, but Kinn's promise to pay him drives Porshe, a one-time national martial arts champion, into the close combat, where he finally rescues the Young Mafia Master. Impressed, Kinn proposes another deal -  Porsche would be his personal bodyguard and in return, Kinn would pay off his debt.

Porsche accepts, though he fears that his younger brother's involvement in this cut-throat world of danger and cruelty.  The closer he gets to Kinn, the more hesitation he feels in his heart. Over the next few months, he improves his fighting skills and learns about the dark underworld he now belongs to. And begins to fall in love with his charismatic boss.

Porshe's feelings start strengthening when Kinn does what he had never done before - crossing the line with a bodyguard. Caring for him, feeling for him. Sharing a kiss with him.

Even if Kinn is openly gay, the road ahead isn't a bed of roses for the two. Porsche comes to know that his parents' death was somehow connected to Kinn's family but his love for Kinn wins at the end and they fight together, for each other and against the world.


Lake Meriwether (Love Victor, 2020-2022, Hulu)


Lake initially has a crush on Andrew, and later falls for Felix. Lucy is introduced as Andrew's girlfriend in Season 2. Lucy comforts Lake about her breakup with Felix, saying she sees her with someone different, hinting at her own feelings. The two almost kiss, but Lake avoids it and leaves. 

Lake soon admits her feelings, and the two girls start dating. Lake, who has always been criticized by her mother finds support and love in her new girlfriend who helps her with her body image issues. When she comes out to her mom who supports her and ask if she is bisexual, Lake answers that she isn't sure.

Lucy plans to move to Portland, and Lake suggests they could move into the condo after she graduates and they kiss.


Rosa Diaz (Brooklyn Nine Nine, 2013-2021, Netflix) 


Rosa is intimidating, smart, secretive, sharp-tongued, and difficult to read.

After getting caught by Boyle while she was talking to her girlfriend, Rosa comes out to her colleagues at the 99th precinct as bisexual.

She has known her reality since the seventh grade when she was attracted to Zack Morris and Lisa Turtle.

She comes out to her parents who take some time to accept her, but her friends at the precinct make this journey easier for her. 

Even after coming out as bisexual, she is still secretive about her love life, though her colleagues do know about some of her partners like Jocelyn, Alicia, Pimento, Tom, and Marcus.


Sathar (Paava Kadhaigal, 2020, Netflix)

Sathar, the protagonist in Thangam (Precious), the first of the stories in the Tamil anthology Paava Kadhaigal (Sinful stories), is a trans woman living on the fringes of society, ridiculed by the villagers and considered an embarrassment by her own family. She is secretly in love with her best friend, Saravanan, the only person who stands up for her, and is crushed when she finds out he’s in love with her sister. Setting her heartbreak aside, Sathar helps them elope against the wishes of their families. Her own family shuts the door on her and she’s left to the mercy of the heartless villagers, who take it upon themselves to ‘punish’ her.

Sathar is a richly and beautifully etched character that makes a deep impact in this barely 30 minute film, her smile overshadowing her hurt, her spirit shining bright over the disdain that comes her way, her hope never diminishing despite the bleakness that surrounds her, head held high, never once faltering from owning her truth. Thangam is a word she uses to teasingly address Saravanan, cherishing the lipstick he gifts her till her last breath, but it’s clear the appellation belongs to Sathar in this story.


Sherlock (Sherlock, 2010-2017, BBC)


Sherlock Holmes is a great detective with remarkable intellect and an aloof demeanour. Despite calling himself "a high-functioning sociopath”, he displays occasional instances of caring and empathy. He embodies an aromantic ace whose primary focus remains unravelling mysteries rather than engaging in romantic or sexual pursuits.

His lack of romantic entanglements is so conspicuous, that his arch nemesis, Jim Moriarty, nicknamed him as 'The Virgin'. While others speculate about his relationship with Dr John Watson, Sherlock maintains a platonic stance, unaffected by any jealousy or possessiveness. His interactions with Molly Hooper, who harbours a crush on him, often elicit his irritation and rude remarks showcasing his disinterest in romantic advances.

Sherlock's encounter with Irene Adler, an intelligent adversary, offers a glimpse into his complex psyche. Though not driven by physical attraction, Sherlock finds himself drawn into Irene's intellectual prowess and her ability to outwit him. Their relationship is characterized by mutual admiration and attempts to outwit each other which transcends into something romantic, culminating in Sherlock's daring rescue when Irene's life is in peril at the hands of terrorists.

His character serves as a compelling portrayal of an aro-ace individual, who shows how an aromantic person may fall in love or how an ace may get attracted; while remaining devoid of romantic or sexual interests in general. In a world dominated by societal expectations of love and romance, Sherlock finds fulfilment in the pursuit of his next detective adventure.

In the books, Sherlock refers to himself as “not the marrying kind” and never expresses any romantic interest in anyone. 


Zakia Asalache (Sense 8, 2015 –2018, Netflix)


Zakia Asalache is introduced as a journalist skeptical of Capheus and his popularity but soon warms up to his innocence and courage. Zakia was born in Nairobi and moved to London to continue her studies. In London, she explored her sexuality, falling in and out of love with a woman. She returned to Kenya to help her birth-nation.

When Capheus decides to ask her out, her colleagues discourage him by telling him about her past relationships with women. However, Zakia makes it clear to Capheus (and the audience) that she falls in love with the person rather than their genitalia, after which, Capheus and Zakia share a kiss and enter into a relationship.

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There are so many such eye-opening, amazing stories made even more amazing thanks to these nuanced and layered characters whose journeys encompass not just coming to terms and living with their identities or orientations but also discovering their place within the world and their struggle to keep it. 

Have you watched a movie, a TV show or read a book with an LGBTQAI+ character that moved you deeply or made you root for them till you were screaming yourself hoarse? Someone that shook you out of your complacency and made you question your deep-seated beliefs? 

Do tell us about them and share your recommendations on this thread.

Edited by oh_nakhrewaali - 27 days ago
LizzieBennet thumbnail
Posted: 29 days ago
#8

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We invite you to share links to stories that you've written about individuals from the LGBTQAI+ community. Whether your stories explore their experiences, struggles, celebrations, and complexities of identities or journeys in love and self-discovery, we'd love to feature them for a month in the FF Section

Image You can send links to your books (in the FF Section) published between July 2021 to 15 June 2024. It can be an ongoing story or a completed one.

Image Please follow Fanfiction RulesStories with an X rating will not be featured. 

Image Your work can be a fan fiction, an original fiction, or a poem. But RPF are not allowed.

Image Your story has to have it's main character(s) from the community. 

Image Include the tag LGBTQ+ in your book before sending the link.

Image You can migrate your stories from other forums to the FF section. If you need any help, contact the FFEs (Koeli, LizzieBennet, oh_nakhrewaali, and Viswasruti)

Image Since we will be featuring it, your books need to have a cover. You can get one by requesting in the ♡ Fan-Fiction Book Cover Shop thread. 

Image Send the links to FFEditors on or before 15 June 2024, 11.59 PM IST.

Do share your creations with the readers of India forums. We can't wait to read your beautiful stories.

Kindly note that this isn't a contest that the team is organizing, we will just be featuring your stories to give them a spotlight.

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While we wait for your stories, we will feature a few stories written by the members of the FFDT. You can find the links and the summaries below. 

Love is Never Wrong 

One shot about Komal from Chak De! India (2007) by oh_nakhrewaali

Komal has questions, Coach Kabir has answers.

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Touch me not, touch me 

One shot on Priya and Ram from Bade Acche Lagte hain 2 by LizzieBennet 

Priya deals with self-doubt and her problems with physical intimacy in her new marriage with Ram.

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Questions when you start dating 

One shot about Kunal from Bade Acche Lagte Hai 2 (Sony TV, 2021-2023) by oh_nakhrewaali 

Kunal is acting weird and his friends have questions (and assumptions).

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A Lavender Mess

One shot about Aman and Kartik from Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan (2020) by oh_nakhrewaali 

Aman, who is living with his boyfriend, gets the news that his family will be visiting him and are hoping to meet his wife, but she is living with her boyfriend. It’s a “he is dating him, she is dating him” mess, really!

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I Saw You and I Can't Think Straight Anymore

One shot about Payal and Ayesha from Ishq Vishk (2003) by oh_nakhrewaali 

Three years after her divorce, the last person Payal wants to see is her ex's ex, and the last person she wants to end up having her crush on is her ex's ex.

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Khel

An original Two Shot by WildestDreams 

Derek and Stephen, two doctors who fall in love and a scandal.

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It's a (Pretend) Date

One shot about Han Seo and Vincenzo from Vincenzo (2021) by oh_nakhrewaali 

Vincenzo needs a date, and that's the only reason why he asked Han Seo out. That's it!

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The Wilting Heart

One shot about Rey and Swayam from Dil Dostii Dance (2011-2015) by oh_nakhrewaali

Swayam and Rey have been childhood friends who grew apart. When Swayam came back in Rey's life, he brought with him a dreadful disease for Rey- one sided love.

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Love is All, Love is You

A collection of one shots for International Transgender Day of Visibility by oh_nakhrewaali 

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Here comes the sun

One shots based on Archie Comics for International Transgender Day of Visibility by LizzieBennet

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No more shame

A poem for International Transgender Day of Visibility by WildestDreams

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Soulful

A collection of work consisting of story of a transgender boy who found that the best way to live is to live with hope, and a poem on hope and love by DreamOfEndless

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The Third Wheel   

An original fiction by ExoticDisaster 

Abhimanyu, Ruhaan, and Sarah, have been inseparable since childhood. Things take an unexpected turn in a moment of vulnerability, Sara asks Ruhaan to marry her.

Taken aback by her sudden proposal, Ruhaan stays in a state of confusion. Abhimanyu, shocked too, somehow musters courage to confess his love.

Suddenly, they are caught in a love triangle, something they never imagined of, not even in dreams. 

And as the trio's inseparable bond is put to the test, they all had to make difficult decisions about their life.

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Just Another Love Story

An original fiction by ExoticDisaster 

Rohan and Sameer were childhood friends but then Rohan shifted towns. They are now back as the new college students and Sam is the popular one at the college, while Rohan is seeing someone. One weak moment sparks old flames that both of them realized had always been there.


Beyond all measures

Sequel to Just Another Love Story by ExoticDisaster 

Five years later, Sameer Sharma is now the CEO of his family business, which is facing the threat of being bought out. The buyer is none other than Rohan Malhotra, who hates him for their unresolved separation.

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We hope you love our stories. Do like and comment on the books so that we feel motivated to write more stories like these.

Edited by LizzieBennet - 18 days ago
DreamOfEndless thumbnail
Posted: 29 days ago
#9

Prepare to dive into the vibrant celebrations of Pride Month with us by participating in these exciting activities, each one offering a unique avenue for self-expression and celebration. 


1. Rainbow Wordplay: Microtale Relay:

Explore the art of microtale writing with a twist – pick a single word from the previous tale and craft your own, all within the colorful spectrum of Pride themes. No sign-ups required.

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• Rainbow Wordplay • Microtale Relay •


2. Queerchain:

Embark on a narrative journey with our Queer-themed Fichain writing by continuing the story of any of the given prompts.  No sign-ups required to join the creative flow.

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• Queerchain •

3. Pride Palette:

Unleash your creativity through the art of moodboard making. Express yourself by curating a moodboard that reflects the essence of LGBTQAI+ community-related words.

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• Pride Palette • Moodboard Creation Contest •

4. Rainbow Rendezvous:

Elevate your weekends with a series of five LGBTQAI+ themed games, each offering a unique blend of fun and inclusivity. No signups needed.

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• Rainbow Rendezvous •


Image Rainbow Trivia Challenge – June 1st, 2nd, and 3rd

Image Pride Picture Party – June 8th, 9th and 10th

Image Emoji QueerFlix – June 15th, 16th and 17th

Image Break the Taboo – June 22nd and 23rd

Image Scavenger Quest – June 27th, 28th, 29th and 30th


Sign up required only for Break the Taboo.


Let's make memories, share stories, and spread happiness and have fun. Join the festivities and make this the most memorable Pride Month ever ... for you and for us!

Edited by DreamOfEndless - 8 days ago
DreamOfEndless thumbnail
Posted: 29 days ago
#10

Last but not the least, we would like to leave you with some thought-provoking questions that delve into the complexities of LGBTQAi+ experiences within our society. These questions aim to spark meaningful discussions and foster greater understanding about the community and our society at large.

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Q1. Television and Media:

Nowadays, most OTT shows have a token LGBTQAI+ character.

Is that representation helpful? Or should the focus be rather on LGBTQAI+ characters in the protagonist's shoes? In what ways do media representations of LGBTQAI+ characters shape societal perceptions and attitudes towards the community?

Q2. Education:

LGBTQAI+ youth face a lot of challenges in terms of acceptance, support, and mental health. How do you think the education system and/or the educational institutes can better support LGBTQAI+ students and promote inclusivity in schools? What are the challenges?

Q3. Sports:

Considering the complexities of fairness, inclusion, and competitive advantage, how can sports organisations and governing bodies best navigate the participation of transgender athletes while ensuring both equity and integrity in competitive sports?

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We leave you with this illuminating quote by trans Actor Elliott Page: "We deserve to experience love fully, equally, without shame and without compromise."

As we celebrate Pride Month, let's ignite conversations that transcend boundaries, deepen understanding, and pave the way for a more inclusive tomorrow.


We hope you use this space to share experiences and stories of Pride, of triumphs and failures, of challenges and acceptance, and above all, of love.

Edited by oh_nakhrewaali - 27 days ago