Beyond Pride Month

Around the world, June is commemorated as Pride Month, in memory of the Stonewall riots that led to the queer rights movement in the US. Every year, Pride Month sees global and local initiatives highlighting LGBTQIA+ issues and acknowledging milestones in the history of the movement. It has also become a mainstream practice for brands to participate in this celebration with “pride-themed” logos, campaigns and promotions. And while this can be a tool to build awareness, it often ends up becoming yet another employer branding tactic that doesn’t necessarily benefit those that it’s meant to; come July, it’s back to business as usual with the promise of inclusiveness long buried and forgotten. 

So what’s the right way to go about it? How can cis-het people go beyond performative gestures, to offer sustained support and authentic solidarity?

Be it larger companies with proactive HR policies, smaller organisations wondering if they have the means to make a difference, or individuals wanting to be better allies — the 101 of true inclusiveness is listening to the voices that matter. There is no resource more insightful than people from within the community sharing their lived experiences; and a lot of them are using Social Media in powerful ways to share their stories, struggles and success. 

Here are some useful, reliable resources — a list of organisations and people using the digital medium to amplify the voices of queer-trans persons and those working in this sphere: 

Organisations and Collectives 

Repository of resources on queer affirmative mental health and affiliated issues, curated by the mental health practitioners and participants of MHI’s Queer Affirmative Counselling Practice (QACP) cohort. 

As a funding agency for innovative mental health initiatives, MHI focuses on making mental health accessible to marginalised persons and communities. Follow @mariwalahealth for insights on queer lives, issues and mental health.

Queer Feminist Resource Group working with queer women and trans persons. 

Nazariya works towards affirming the rights of queer people (LBT) by enabling an environment where their lived realities are non negotiable and inform the work and discourse of organisations and institutions. Read more

Organisation run by transgender persons that has contributed to the legal recognition of the transgender community in India. 

They continue to make milestone changes in the lives of transgender people through art. 

LGBTQ+ Allies Youth Network/Collective to educate, equip and empower adolescents and the youth of Manipur and North East India, through advocacy and capacity building services on health, education and sexuality.

India’s first archive of politicians supporting LGBTQIA+ rights. 

Located at the intersection of politics, queerness, and technology, they aim to push for accountability and transparency from our elected representatives. Check out State of the Qunion, their largest project so far. 

Student-run organisation working to create awareness about the issues faced by Indian LGBTQIA+ people around the world. Read more.  

Blog for LGBTQIA+ identifying people to share their personal stories. 

What began as a platform for LGBTQIA+ identifying folx from the South Asian subcontinent has now evolved into a space with diverse content from authors across the globe. Read more.  

Thought Leaders 

Shruti is a queer feminist psychotherapist. She is the Chief Advisor at Mariwala Health Initiative and part of the Queer Affirmative Counselling Practice (QACP) faculty. Her areas of engagement include mental health, gender, sexuality and human rights.

  • Trinetra Haldar Gummaraju 

After two decades of feeling like she had lived in the wrong body, Trinetra decided to change her social, legal and biological identity to match what her mind was telling her. Here, she shares her experience and talks about the importance of empathy and acceptance.

Follow @ind0ctrination

Social Communities 

Stories that counter queerphobia 

Archive of India’s queer history 

Community that raises awareness about LGBTQIA+ issues in India

Allyship is an ongoing journey — a continuous process of unlearning and relearning, of engaging with one’s own discomfort, questioning it and demonstrating solidarity through actions. So let’s look beyond the rainbows and unicorns and seek real change.