The onset of June may signal brands to turn their attention to the LGBTQ+ community, but if you believe there’s more to Pride Month than rainbow-hued logos, you have come to the right place.
For those looking to be an ally to the movement, it is essential to hear the stories and the struggles of those who have been working for acceptance every single day, so that we may educate ourselves and move together as a whole towards a more inclusive future.
If you are looking to add some pride to your Instagram feed, here are the names that you’ll want to follow:
A writer and performance artist of Indian-American origin, Vaid-Menon has been vouching for the dismantling of the gender binary on both sides of the globe. Through the medium of powerful poetry and poignant performances, they hope to imagine a future where creativity is rewarded over conformity and beauty can thrive even in the face of social and cultural repression.
Being an illustrator, writer and self-taught poet may sound like a full-time job, but Paul also has room in her schedule to serve as a vocal advocate for LGBTQ+ rights. When a war of words with Kangana Ranaut went awry on Twitter, she used the instance to educate people on mental health and the societal stigma around the same.
As a VJ, psychologist and winner of Mr Gay India 2014, Divgikr wears many hats, but their most popular one is the drag queen Rani KoHEnur who has won fans from Mumbai to New York, where they were recently featured on a billboard at the iconic Times Square. With over one million followers to their credit on Instagram, Divgikr has been funneling the attention into raising awareness about the LGBTQ+ community in India.
In addition to being a model, actor and musician, Shraya is also a trans artist who has authored the award-winning book, I’m Afraid Of Men, to explore the impact of having masculinity imposed on her at birth. Now working as an assistant professor for creative writing at the University of Calgary in Canada, she hopes to enable people to re-imagine arbitrary gender roles for the twenty-first century.
Dr Trinetra Haldar Gummaraju
As the first trans woman surgeon in the state of Karnataka, Dr Gummaraju has been campaigning to make the socio-political sphere a more inclusive and welcoming space for people of all gender identities across the spectrum. In addition to notable collaborations with top influencers like Kusha Kapila and Srishti Dixit, her YouTube channel, The Trinetra Method, also aims to spread awareness about gender roles as seen through the lens of her own experiences.
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