India’s first LGBTQ choir performs in Mumbai to unite voices
Performers also echoed that they wanted Section 377 of the IPC to be abolished, and were hopeful that the Supreme Court’s decision to review it would work in their favour.
Tweaking songs to convey a transition from confinement and isolation to freedom and liberty, Rainbow Voices Mumbai (RVM), India’s first LGBTQ choir, highlighted problems and created awareness about the issues faced by the community, at a concert on Saturday.
“Though, as a group we aren’t facing too many problems, but socially, people are still processing information and it will take them time to come to terms with our community. We are fighting ignorance so people know that we have the same blood running in our veins ,” said Vinod Philip, founder, RVM.
Apart from 40 members of the choir, who belong to different parts of the country, around 10 individual members from LGBTQ choirs from US, UK, Australia, and other countries also performed with the group.
“It has been observed that in Asian countries, we have an obligation to our families and somewhere we need to maintain our personal lives too, so it is difficult to come out for most of us. A platform like this helps us maintain that balance,” said Hsein Hew, co-ordinator, Proud Voices Asia.
Performers also echoed that they wanted Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code to be abolished, and were hopeful that the Supreme Court’s decision to review it would work in their favour.
“When Article 377 was re-issued in the year 2013, there was a shockwave across the country and we had cancelled the pride that year. Though the change has been slow, it is eventually coming. I can say that because, today, London’s Pink group is officially here to perform,” said David Williamson, music director of RVM.
Ashish Pandya, managing co-ordinator, RVM, who hasn’t spoken about his sexuality to his parents, said being a part of the group has streamlined his personality.