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Pune: Advait International Queer film festival on Dec 24-25, theme is Pride and Prejudice

The Foundation has also requested a statement from the Indian Psychiatric Society (IPS) in support of legalising gay marriages.

Written by Anuradha Mascarenhas | Pune |
December 15, 2021 4:26:38 pm
According to the Indian Psychiatric Society, homosexuality per se is not a classifiable psychiatric disorder and is just a sexual orientation different from heterosexuality.

A clutch of films like ‘Born this way’, which follows two young Cameroonians as they move into a secret LGBT community, and ‘Last Chance’, a documentary that views the Canadian immigration refugee process through the eyes of four LGBT refugee status claimants, will be screened at the Advait Pune International Queer Film Festival on Dec 24-25.

“The theme this year is Pride and Prejudice. We will showcase four international documentaries related to struggle of LGBTIQA community for rights, respect and dignity. All films have English subtitles,” Bindumadhav Khire, Director of Bindu Queer Rights Foundation that is organising the Queer film festival, told The Indian Express

He said the festival will be conducted online due to new, emerging variants of the coronavirus and will therefore cater to a larger geographical area of viewers. The Consulate General of Canada in Mumbai and Maharashtra Queer Network are partners of this edition of the festival while Delta Logic Solutions are the Technical Consultants.The tickets for the festival can be booked from December 15 onwards.

Pallav Patankar, a gay social worker who has worked in the area of LGBTQ+ rights for more than two decades, will inaugurate the festival. Khire said that the struggle for LGBTQ+ rights is going on all over the world. “On the one hand, we have countries like Canada, USA, Australia, UK, countries in Europe which have been very progressive about LGBTIQA rights. And on the other, we have some countries where adult gay consensual intercourse could lead to the death penalty,” he said.

“Many countries lie somewhere in between the ends of these two spectrums. The journey towards equality is a long and arduous one. We in India, have just recently (a couple of years ago) decriminalised consensual adult gay intercourse. But, rights-wise, we still have a long way to go.”

Gay marriage is a case in point, Khire said. “It is amply clear that most political parties in India are not going to be supportive of gay marriage. Our struggle on this front, in the courts, will continue, but while we struggle for our rights, let this year‘s Advait queer film festival be a reminder to us all that in varying degrees all the community members and allies over the globe are part of this struggle. We need to cherish and respect the freedoms we have got and give hope and support to those who desperately need it,” he added.

The Foundation has also requested a statement from the Indian Psychiatric Society (IPS) in support of legalising gay marriages. According to the Indian Psychiatric Society, homosexuality per se is not a classifiable psychiatric disorder and is just a sexual orientation different from heterosexuality. Earlier in 2016, while the Section 377 IPC case was ongoing in the Supreme Court, the IPS had given a favourable statement for decriminalising same-sex intercourse between consenting adults.

When contacted, Dr Gautam Saha, president of the IPS, told The Indian Express that if someone wants to stay together and have a partnership, there is nothing wrong in doing so. “However we as a body cannot say that they should do it,” he said.

Dr Aruna Yadiyal, convenor, LGBT task force at IPS, said that the choice of getting married or otherwise is best left to the agency of those who identify as a part of the LGBT community themselves (just like the rest of the population) and contemporary psychiatrists believe that they have no role in either endorsing or condemning it. “Marriage and living together is a choice best made on their own,” Dr Yadiyal added.

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