Queers Ki Kahani 2.0: Celebrating Queer Stories and Activism in Arunachal Pradesh

Naharlagun, May 25: Following the success of the 2022 queer storytelling event, AP QueerStation, Arunachal Pradesh’s sole queer support group, hosted ‘Queers Ki Kahani 2.0’ on Saturday. This event drew a significant turnout of LGBTQIA+ individuals from across the state, including districts such as Lower Subansiri, Tirap, and West Siang. The exclusive gathering aimed to create a safe and inclusive environment for the queer community, free from fear and skepticism.

A total of 35 participants representing the diverse spectrums of the LGBTQ+ community shared personal narratives of struggle, self-discovery, childhood trauma, and inspirational stories of happiness. The event, held at Central Perk café in Naharlagun, saw enthusiastic participation and support. Nabam Esther, the café owner, expressed delight in hosting the event, emphasizing the importance of such gatherings in fostering support and awareness for LGBTQIA+ issues and rights. She highlighted the café’s commitment to being a queer-friendly space.

Ruth, who traveled from Aalo, West Siang, shared her journey of identifying as a lesbian, discussing the challenges posed by societal and media over-sexualization of the term. Her story underscored the need for media sensitization on queer topics. 

Tom, from Itanagar, spoke about his experience of coming out to his family, emphasizing his resilience despite the challenges. An anonymous student from RGU, Doimukh, recounted daily bullying and called for more educational sector awareness programs on gender and sexual minorities.

AP QueerStation founder Sawang Wangchha emphasized the importance of queer activism in Arunachal Pradesh. He urged attendees to combat taboo, discrimination, and injustice, highlighting that LGBTQIA+ individuals face severe legal challenges in over 60 countries, including life imprisonment and death in some cases. Wangchha called for global queer community solidarity and mutual support to keep the community safe and strong, urging local support for AP QueerStation’s initiatives.

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