Make some noise for the gay desi boys

Faces from the city's queer community experience new freedom as they join Gay Pride marches across the globe

The Rainbow Voices at a performance in Mumbai
The Rainbow Voices at a performance in Mumbai

Even as the world's premier cities are holding Gay Pride marches, a little bit of India, and particularly Mumbai, is making inroads into this global platform with local activists making their presence felt there.

Mumbai's filmmaker and director of the city's recently concluded queer film festival Kashish, Sridhar Rangayan, is in the Spanish city of Madrid. Rangayan will be marching in the Pride Parade on July 1. In fact, on June 28, the Mayor of Madrid invited Rangayan for a special reception at the historic Cybele Palace. It is also serious business for the filmmaker, who will be speaking at a panel discussion as part of WorldPride 2017, Madrid. "I will touch upon the legal and social environment in India, how that impacts the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer community and how films can play an important part in breaking stereotypes"

Manvendra Gohil on the show Keeping up with the KardashiansManvendra Gohil on the show Keeping up with the Kardashians

The sing thing
Mumbai-based gay choir, Rainbow Voices, shares Rangayan's sentiments. This choir will be attending the London Pride on July 8. Ashish Pandya, who is part of the choir, says, "We will be singing our anthem Hum Honge Kamyaab at Trafalgar Square in London during the Pride. We are so excited to be going to a country where it is legal to be gay."

Pandya says the 16-member troupe will also sing at a London concert on July 15. "We will be singing with London's gay choir, The Pinkies, and another choir group Out & Loud from Sheffield. It is going to be 10-12 days of freedom and learning," explains the singer.

Spanish policemen guard the setting up of the gay pride flag, on the facade of the Cibeles Palace, the Madrid City Hall. Three million revellers are expected as Madrid hosts WorldPride 2017
Spanish policemen guard the setting up of the gay pride flag, on the facade of the Cibeles Palace, the Madrid City Hall. Three million revellers are expected as Madrid hosts WorldPride 2017

It's the time to 'Frisco'
Manvendra Singh Gohil, the gay prince of Rajpipla (Gujarat), a familiar name, face and voice in the community, was at San Francisco's Gay Pride held on June 24-25. He has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show and also featured recently in an episode on the reality show, Keeping up with the Kardashians.

The San Francisco Pride has always excited Gohil. One has to rewind to the late 1960s to understand the historical roots of the 'Frisco' Pride.

Sridhar Rangayan, filmmaker
Sridhar Rangayan, filmmaker

In the early hours of June 28, 1969, a New York police raid on Greenwich Village's Stonewall Inn sparked the Stonewall Riots. The riots are one of the most well-known triggers of the LGBT rebellion against government-sponsored oppression of gay people. It was on the one-year anniversary of these riots that the first Pride marches were held in San Francisco, New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. "That is the reason why I am exhilarated to be a part of the movement 48 years later," Gohil said.

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