My Pride 2018 was a collaborative effort of 14 enthusiastic students of St. Xavier’s college of Kolkata. It was a three day event conducted from 22nd June to 24th June as an honour to celebrate the pride month. The event was organised at Amra Odbhuth Café, the first queer café of Kolkata. The event comprised of performing arts, movie screening, as well as exhibition and sale of various artworks that celebrates ‘Pride’.
According to Rahul Saha, Pride is all about celebrating his existence. He says, “Pride is freedom of expressing my views and myself as i am not only about sexuality. My Pride is a platform of celebrating humanity where humans irrespective of sexuality participate together which really indicates the change of society”.
The month of June was chosen as LGBT pride month to commemorate the riots arranged by the members of the LGBT community against a police raid that took place at the Stone Wall Inn in New York city on 28th June,1969. The Stone Wall Inn was a gay club located in Greenwich Village in New York City. This paved the way for other LGBT liberation movements not only in India but also across the world.
Also read: In Conversation With Xukia: A Queer Collective in Assam
It was Ankita Mitra’s first ever pride event. “I have never felt that much warmth while performing. My Pride made me feel like home, I could be myself”.
There were almost more than 200 people who joined us to celebrate the pride month. It was an enhancing experience to listen to ‘My Pride Story’, and poetry and music. The interactive sessions, dance performances, movie screenings lighted the evenings for those three days.
The event was an initiative to spread happiness in the city of joy. To create a better space where the identities of anyone who belonged to the LGBTQIA+ community were not questioned nor looked down upon. My Pride 2018 tried to offer a vision to challenge all kinds of repression and to work together and create a world of dreams where diversity is celebrated.
Also read: After The Rain Comes The Rainbow: First Pride March In Shillong
Image courtesy: Kasturi Mukherjee and Bikshan Banerjee