Pride Month in many parts of the world is celebrated through the month of June. This follows the convention in the United States, which traces its history back to the Stonewall Uprising on June 28, 1969. In various pockets in and around New York, protests and demonstrations broke out against a police raid at the Stonewall Inn, which was a popular bar and safe space for the gay community.
The day is an important one in the recent history of the US. In 1970, the first gay pride march was organised to mark one year of the Stonewall Uprising — various other cities in the US followed and organised marches at the same time. In the following years, this snowballed into marches in various other cities, with the LGBTQ community coming together to celebrate their sexuality, and declare ‘pride’ in owning identities. In 2016, then US President Barack Obama also went on to designate the Stonewall Inn a ‘national monument’.
In India, the first Pride march was held in Kolkata on 2 July 1999. It had roughly under 20 people participating, and was then called “Friendship Walk”. Today, it is the Kolkata Rainbow Pride Walk. Another landmark moment was marked in India almost four years ago now, when on 6 September 2018, the Supreme Court decriminalised all consensual sex among adults, including gay sex, ruling Section 377 as unconstitutional. The country’s LGBT community still awaits a decision on their right to marry.
In the meantime, ahead of queer rights coming back into mainstream focus during Pride Month, we take a look at three influencers who are using their voice, work, and reach, to keep the conversation alive throughout the year.
The Travelling Gays
London-based couple Doug and Sanjay met at the Manchester Pride March in 2009. They share a love for travel, as is evident through their social media profile handles, and have recently became parents via surrogacy. Through their YouTube and Instagram accounts, they share details of their parenting journey together, too.
Dr. Trinetra Haldar Gummaraju
Gummaraju is a popular influencer, who has been in the news quite often — be it for her impeccable sense of style or for her professional achievements, both. A graduate of Kasturba Medical College in Manipal, in 2020, she became the first trans-woman doctor and surgeon in the state of Karnataka. Born as a boy named Angad, Gummaraju was already a popular vlogger through her YouTube channel The Trinetra Method, before making strides in her career. A few days ago, Gummaraju was announced as part of the Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia for 2022. She continues to create content, and now also collaborates with other content creators with the aim to mainstream the idea of more inclusive content.
Sahoo is an artist and model, who had his virtual artwork, originally up on the WazirxNFT marketplace, displayed at recently concluded the India Design ID 2022. In 2016, when he was 20 years old, Sahoo also won the the Mr Gay World India competition, the youngest to do so. A graduate of the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), Delhi, Sahoo works as a visual design specialist. He uses his social media to talk about gender, queerness, cyber fashion, and art.