Celebrating Pride Month - Be the You You’ve Always Been!

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                                              By Vaishnavi Srivastava

Right from the covert, taboos and societal norms, we have found our way amidst the dark! 

Getting equal rights and a place in society wasn’t that easy for the people belonging to the LGBTQ+ community. In the month when we are celebrating uniqueness and individuality, let’s talk about the most important figures belonging to the community who did not hesitate to bear the brunt and broke the barriers with immense strength and power. 

1. Gauri Sawant

Source: The Pioneer

Not all heroes wear capes, some just drape a saree and set out to heal the world. 

A transgender activist who completely flipped the stereotypes related to motherhood. She is a caretaker, a mother, and an activist who not only stood up for herself but also is working towards changing the lives of hundreds of people from within and outside the community. 

Gauri is running an NGO named ‘Aajicha Ghar’ translated as Nani Ka Ghar, where she counsels and takes care of the children of the sex workers and reclaims their childhood

2. Sonal Giani 

Source: Storiyaan

An actor, an activist, a theatre artist, and a strong woman! Sonal is well-known for being a flag-bearer and an advocate for highlighting the issues of  Bisexual Women and Lesbians in India. She is also the co-founder of the two largest LGBTQ initiatives called Umang and Yaariyan. 

She has appeared on the screens in a documentary sharing her real-life experiences as a bisexual woman. 

Sonal Giani is a young and dynamic woman who is never afraid to go an extra mile for anything!

3. Laxmi Narayan Tripathi 

Famous for breaking the conventional and stereotypical notions around beauty, Laxmi Narayan Tripathi is a transgender activist who also happens to be a gracious Bharatnatyam dancer, a motivational speaker, and an Indian actress who recognizes herself as a part of the ‘hijra’ community. 

She is one of the founding members of the Dai Welfare Society which is working for the transgender community since 2002. In the year 2008, she also represented the Asia Pacific in the UN. 

Laxmi is like the backbone of the kinnar or the hijra community of India. 

4. Sushant Divgikr 

Source: Social Ketchup

Sushant is a flamboyant personality, a young model, actor, and LGBTQ activist. Popularly known by his drag name ‘Rani KoHenur’, he is an inspiration and a source of strength to hundreds of young people belonging to the LGBTQIA+ community. 

Crowned as Mr. Gay India in the year 2014, Sushant has only grown and has become a personality renowned worldwide in the drag community. 

He is working towards normalizing and accepting drag in India and identifying it as an art that should be respected and cherished. 

5. Ashok Row Kavi

Source: The Print 

India’s first gay activist and journalist laid the seed of confidence in people coming out as a part of the LGBTQIA+ community. He fearlessly and openly conveyed his thoughts about homosexuality and identified himself to be as gay in an interview with the Savvy magazine in the year 1986. 

He founded the Humsafar Trust that started spreading awareness about homosexuality and has served the LGBTQ community more than any other organization in India to date. 

Today when we are celebrating Pride Month, let's come together and take an oath to make our land a better, safe, and happy place for everyone belonging to the LGBTQIA+ community. 

It's about time we celebrate individualism and eccentricity opening our arms with acceptance and love. Let's be the change and hoist the Pride Flag. 

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