For the first time in Maharashtra, a Marathi Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) Literary Festival will be held on November 25 at Jyotsna Bhole Sabagriha.
Organised by Samapathik Trust, which has been working on health and rights issues of the LGBTI community in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad for more than 17 years, the festival will present various forms of Marathi literature that have highlighted LGBTI issues.
Bindhumadhav Khire, director of the literary festival, said the main aim was to increase awareness and sensitivity in the mainstream on LGBTI issues.
“We also want to encourage new LGBTI writers to express themselves in regional language,” said Khire.
Apart from providing a platform for writers keen on exploring LGBTI issues and showcasing their work, the festival will also discuss various digital and other methods by which issues can be highlighted.
Vaishali Rode, who has written the biography of Laxmi Tripati, will read excerpts from that book ‘Mi Hijara Mi Laxmi’, while Seema Bhanu, who has translated into Marathi the Bengali autobiography of Manobi Bandopadhaya, the first transgender principal of a college, will read excerpts from that book ‘Hoi Mi Stree Ahe’.
Parikshit Shete will perform a part of the play ‘Jaswand’, which is the first Marathi play on intersex issues, while Sourabh Bondre will read a piece that he has translated into Marathi. The piece, written in English by Hrishikesh Sathawane, is his account of his gay wedding to his boyfriend Vinh in Yavatmal on October 6 this year. Khire said he had booked a marriage hall and the marriage ceremony was performed in the presence of his parents, relatives and friends.
Pushkar Ekbote and Suresh Khole will do a Q&A on the importance of Marathi Wikipedia, apart from a reading from the play ‘Na Yeti Uttare’ by Chinmay Sant and Ritesh Tiwari.
Zameer Badrunnisa, Disha Sheikh and Sarang Punekar will share their experiences while activist Manisha Gupte will speak on intersectionalism of violence on women, feminine men and transgenders.
Dr Vishwas Sahasrabuddhe will anchor the event.