Blog: One Visitor's View of Rainbow Platform Panel
Description: India Social Forum, November 06, Rainbow Platform Panel
Created by Bzare on Mon 15 of Jan, 2007 18:17 IST
Last post Mon 15 of Jan, 2007 18:52 IST
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Posted by Bzare on Mon 15 of Jan, 2007 18:42 IST

As a visitor to ISF Delhi who has been active in glbt issues at the University of Wyoming, USA, I was grateful for the chance to attend the Rainbow Platform meeting. It was great to see that lots of different groups from throughout India were there. They wore and were passing out large rainbow triangle necklace placards that said JUDGE NOT: Support Sexual Preference. I would say the single most dramatic thing was to see how much the platform supported each other, given that it was a wider coalition than is typical in US. That is, not only were there glbt people, and PLHA (people living with AIDs, including orphaned children, single moms, widowed moms, etc.) but also there were sex workers. They too regard themselves and are regarded as part of the sexual freedom/rights for sexual minorities movement, and I was impressed by that. I don’t know how tough that coalition was to build but today there were clearly no tensions. Perhaps it helps that some of the trans folks are involved in sex work (similar to US, partly because of the heavy discrimination to get other jobs, partly because it is part of the culture of being trans, and in a few cases to earn money for an operation). It was moving and empowering to hear from all the speakers. I did, however, note that the one lesbian person onstage was scheduled to speak only after nearly one hour and 45 minutes of other speeches; by then the audience had dwindled considerably and that means that her important perspective got unfairly sidelined.

I love the way music here permeates many public events; at the panel, group songs expressing solidarity were interwoven with speeches. Highlight of the panel: a male-to-female who could not have been younger than 50 and was probably 55 or 60, did an amazing, sensuous classic dance from Karnataka. Wow! Totally amazing muscle control and seductive facial expressions. The panel introduced the dance by explaining its purpose was to show how “any gendered performance can be seductive from anyone to anyone." True, but also the dance was further empowering in its communication that humans can be seductive at any age.

All in all, it was a very inspiring event.

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