Celebrating International Pride Month 2019

Writing letters to thank all supporters with Love Matters

Society

June 14, 2019

/ By / Delhi

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To celebrate International Pride Month 2019, Love Matters, an online platform that supports the LGBTQ+ people, is organising a letter writing event, taking an initiative to thank all those who came in forward to help the community members.

“He is my junior and a close friend. He accepted my sexuality and supported me. A straight ally, he  shared food with me and even shared a room to break all stereotypes about gay men. He challenged his close friends, relatives, and girlfriend to support LGBTQ+ issues. He visited many gay events and attended gay parties in Delhi fearlessly, even when he was the only straight guy around. Due to his curiosity about LGBT and to support them, he even put a batch titled “LGBT supporter” on his shirt. He is a good friend to share the feeling with. I know he feels awkward when I discuss with him my gay life, but he tries to understand every bit of it, and takes gay relationships equivalent to any other. He guides me to get through homophobic people around; and I call him “the treasure of my life”. Now he is busy in planning how I can open in front of my parents,” shares a LGBTQ+ member with the team at Love Matters.

Love Matters, an online Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) information platform, is launching a week long campaign – both online and offline, starting from June 10-16, 2019  to celebrate the International Pride Month.

Every year, the month of June is celebrated as International Pride Month to take a stance against discrimination and violence towards Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) people, and to promote their self-affirmation, dignity, equality, right to increase visibility as a social group, build community, and celebrate gender diversity.

The event is part of the campaign Titled ‘#AgarTumSaathHo: Celebrating Support, Acceptance and Allyship’, that focuses on celebrating the solidarity among  members of the LGBTQ community and between the LGBTQ community and their cisgender straight allies.

Through the campaign, Love Matters will be writing letters to thank the supporters and publishing stories of support, acceptance, love, and respect that members of the LGBTQ community have given and/or received from their allies from across different domains – friends, colleagues, parents, teachers, partners, etc.”Families and friends really matter! We know that most young people from the LGBTQ community grow up having to hide their identity because they fear being judged and rejected even by their loved ones. But this has serious impact on their self-esteem and sense of self-worth. Supportive parents, families, friends, teachers and peers can all play an important role to help build self- esteem and a positive sense of self among LGBTQ youth which includes gender non-conforming teens. This Pride month, Love Matters India aims to bring forward and celebrate these stories of support, of courage, of love and of understanding,” says Vithika Yadav, head of Love Matters India.

Although in September 2018, India decriminalised homosexuality, pulling down a regressive colonialera ban by legalising section 377 of the Indian Constitution, things have not changed much for the homosexuals yet. Coming out continues to be a challenge and social stigmas remain.

Through the stories, the objective of the team at Love Matters now is to enable a discourse of empathy and acceptance, solidarity and allyship between straight and LGBTQ people in post-377 India.

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