As the last month passed, you may have seen some instances and come across a number of issues and victories of the LGBT+ community. You may wonder, what is the purpose of these rainbow-colored flags and references. Let’s throw some light on this matter.
LGBT+ stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, inclusive of asexual, queer, etc., and is a community of people, belonging to the same. Its struggle for equality, freedom, and diversity inclusion has deep roots in the past, but it caught attention in 1969 when activists revolted against police brutality in Stonewall Inn, New York City, which later evolved into a gay civil rights movement. It was the same year, when “The Advocate”, an LGBTQ publication, began as a newsletter published by an activist group, Personal Rights In Defense and Education (PRIDE).
Indian Representation of LGBT
In India, during the colonial rule in the 19th century, homosexual intercourse was considered a criminal offense and hence was banned under Chapter 16, Section 377 of The Indian Penal Code(IPC). Since then, people belonging to this community were deprived of their freedom and expressing their sexual orientation. But on one fine day, 2nd July of 1999, a crowd of 15 men took to the streets of Kolkata to express themselves, calling it the “Kolkata Rainbow Pride Walk” or the Friendship walk.
It was the first pride parade to be ever held in India but was the oldest pride march in south Asia. Soon, the cause spread, and now pride parades have been held in about 21 Indian cities! The struggles and revolts finally bore fruit, when section 377 was scrapped off IPC. But the struggle is still ongoing, as social acceptance is progressing and the battle for equal rights is yet to be won.
At the Intersection of Pride and Great Design
In recent years, the community has voiced their opinions and gained recognition and support from others, even through design. This was acknowledged when Adobe launched the LGBTQ Pride Campaign, the visual identity of which, “Better Together”, was designed by art director and designer. Through this theme, they wanted to highlight the presence and importance of the LGBTQ+ community and celebrate this diverse inclusion of different groups of people.
Even at The Lotus Make-up Indian Fashion Week 2019 hosting the theme, My Fashion My Tribe many designers chose vibrant rainbow-colored looks to present their work, in support of the Transgender community.
The community still fights for people to look beyond their prejudices and treat all with dignity, sparing the colonial judgment.
“We should indeed keep calm in the face of difference, and live our lives in a state of inclusion and wonder at the diversity of humanity”–George Takei