(IBNS): The American Center hosted the curtain-raiser celebrations of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender ) Pride Month: LGBT Rights are Human Rights at Lincoln Room of the American Center here on Friday.
Nil of gay designer duo DevRNil, Dr. Mukul Mukherjee of Karma Kutir, Anindya Hazra of Pratyay Gender Trust, Minaxi Sanyal of Sappho for Equality, Rudra Mandal of Kolkata Rainbow Pride Festival and Paramita Banerjee of the NGO Sathi were present at the occasion.
This year, the American Center has its very own signature LGBT pride flag, designed and hand-crafted by local artisans and spearheaded by the NGO Karma Kutir.
The rainbow flag, LGBT pride flag or gay pride flag, is a symbol of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender pride and LGBT social movements in use since the 1970s.
Jeffrey K. Reneau, Director of American Center, said: “We are focusing on LGBT as we want to celebrate diversity.”
“The colours are designed to reflect the diversity on this community that everyone will be able to recognize,” he added.
There was an interaction session where the dignitaries discussed about its month long celebrations that commenced on June 8 and their demand from the society.
Addressing the media, Anindya Hazra said: “Many people do not know about us and we are thankful to American Center for giving us this opportunity to raise our voice.”
Highlighting the problems faced by LGBT, he said: “People hate us a lot. We are the invisible people in society. Violence against transgender people is a serious issue that needs to be spoken out.”
“Society is not accepting transgender people despite having talent thus, pushing them into sex work.”
“By keeping their safety in mind we are planning to open a night shelter,” he added.
All those present at the event demanded and stressed on the term “dignity”.
Stressing on the association with LGBT and The American Center, Mukul Mukherjee said: “The main aim of our NGO is to make deprived people independent. The girls of Karma Kutir have produced the flag. We are glad to be associated with them.”
At the end, there was the screening of the film Milk, a 2008 American biographical film based on the life of gay rights activist and politician Harvey Milk.
The month long celebration will also host a Pride workshop that aims to create Posters and Pride related objects like caps, masks, handouts, paintings.
The posters and objects created during this workshop will be displayed in the Kolkata Pride Walk, scheduled for July, 2012 and project the participation of American Centre in the Kolkata Pride event.
There will be screening of Hollywood films focusing LGBT issues to celebrate LGBT Pride Month on Fridays in The Lincoln Room, American Center.
(Reporting by Tania Roy, images by Rajreeta Sen)