(Written by Manik Berry)
To mark Pride Month, Naayaab, an independent student organisation, organised ‘Nazariya’, an open mic and talk show themed around the LGBT community at The Lalit on Saturday. Issues faced by the LGBT community, including sexuality, body shape and financial issues were addressed through poetry. Communal issues like Triple Talak were also taken up by the performers in the open mic that began at 4pm with 30 participants and an audience of over 100 people.
Participants in the open mic ranged from poets, storytellers, bands and solo musicians. There was no language requisite, inviting performances in English, Hindi, Punjabi and even in an amalgamation of two or more languages. To make the event interactive, the anchors cracked jokes and confession slips were circulated in the audience.
Later, Dhananjay Chauhan, the chief guest of the program, spoke in a talk show, explaining the importance and historical significance of the Pride Month. She emphasised that the choice of Panjab University for the first Pride celebrations was fitting, as it is a place with people who are educated and are accepting of the LGBT community.
Joking about growing up, she narrated her story of how she realised her identity and how rituals such as mundan (shaving head) were forced upon her. She also addressed the transgender problems of having doubts about their gender identity, which is tougher than figuring out one’s sexual orientation.
The conversation with Dhananjay also pointed at the concept of ‘good and bad touch’. She spoke about the ‘MeToo’ campaign, and said that these atrocities have been inflicted on the transgender community for a long time.
“This was a unique experience because of the theme. The artists were also good. We hope there is more participation to such events in the future,” said Daksh, one of the participants. Another participant, Prabhdeep Sandhu, appreciated the theme and said, “This event helped me know more about the LGBT community. I did not have much knowledge on the community and their problems before this event. Now I know a lot.”
One of the organisers, Muskaan said,”Let’s bring this rainbow down for the people- who made the rainbow meaningful for us, and, colour their lives for the love of Pride’.