Growing up like a million others, I learned about two genders. The fact that a person can identify beyond these two genders was never a part of the curriculum. As time passed by, we saw baby steps being taken towards breaking gender stereotypes and conversations being normalized. It took a lot of learning and unlearning to understand the lives of the LGBTQIA+ community and clear the fog I had all these years. And ever since, I have been on the journey of becoming a better ally to the community each passing day.
Soon the portrayal of them in Bollywood, the snarky jokes, and the indifference in the society made me uncomfortable and sad thinking that I might have been unknowingly part of all this one or another way.
When I started Social Ketchup, I ensured that inclusivity and diversity remain at the core. I am proud that the team here believes in this thought and has joined me in all our endeavors to make the Internet a happy space for everyone, irrespective of any gender. Together, we launched #PrideLiveFest, a virtual event to celebrate the month of Pride and normalize conversations around the LGBTQIA+ community. The Festival was curated with some of the leading voices from the community and allies.
Extending the efforts, we are dedicating this edition to PRIDE and tried our best to curate an amalgamation of Inspiring Stories and Recommendations with good vibes, love, and support for the community.
Gracing the cover, we have the very talented actor-performer, Sushant Divgikr(he/she/they), popularly known by the drag avatar Rani KoHEnur. I have always been in awe of his work, but I have to confess, meeting him for the shoot left me (and everyone in the room) mesmerized with pretty much everything he did or spoke about. Sushant has played a pivotal role in representing the community on different national and international platforms, drawing eyes and positivity for Queer people. In one of our conversations, Sushant mentioned, Drag is not just being loud, it is an art to express and can be emoted subtly too, and that’s what we kept in mind while shooting the cover.
We also spoke to artists and creators from the community and allies on the topics that matter the most. The edition has stories of coming out of the closet to accepting the identity, from what Pride is for them to artists showcasing it in their unique way.
We also spoke to a member of the Sweekar Group (a group run by the parents of Queer) to understand what and how one can make the process of coming out easier for everyone involved.
With Social Ketchup, as a publication, we will make sure inclusivity remains at our core. We don’t say we know it all about the community, but we want to take steps in the right direction and make an effort to include more people in our journey, and to do the same, we reach out to people from the community and the allies who work for their upliftment.
Join us in celebrating Pride 365 Days!
Mrinil Mathur Rajwani
If you have stories that should be shared with the world, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org or drop me a note.
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