Author Archives: nivvedan

Q’nema – Queer Film festival – January 30 and 31 at IIT Bombay, Powai


Saathi, the LGBTQ resource group of IIT Bombay in association with Queer Azaadi Mumbai (QAM) and KASHISH Mumbai International Queer film festival is hosting Q’nema 2013 at IIT Bombay, Powai.

This year, Q’nema will be a two day fare showcasing Queer film culture worldwide. It will feature award winning films from the 3rd edition of KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival. In attendance, we also have a few surprise guests!

Date & Time: 30 Jan 2013 and 31 Jan 2013 (2 days) – 6PM to 10PM

Full address of the Venue:
PC Saxena Auditorium
Indian Institute of Technology Bombay
Powai, Mumbai – 400076

Kindly carry a Government/Employee issue Identity Card with you to gain entry into the campus.

All are invited!


schedule qnema

India’s 10 day Galaata Against Uganda’s Kill Gay Bill!


On this World AIDS day 1st December 2012, the sexual minority groups in Mumbai under the aegis of Queer Azaadi Mumbai (QAM) protest the plight of our fellow community members in Uganda, now facing an imminent legislation where death sentences and life imprisonment are being contemplated by their Parliament.

The Indian LGBT communities condemn the government of Uganda and urge it to follow the directions of the UN Charter on Human Rights where LGBT citizens of a country must be treated equally without discrimination and freedom to follow their right to happiness. The Indian sexual minority communities urge the Ugandan government not to come under pressure from fundamentalist groups andlegislate discrimination against helpless and voiceless communities which only wish to exist in peace as a fundamental right.

The current HIV prevalence in Uganda is estimated at 6.5 percent among adults and 0.7 percent among children. HIV prevalence is higher in urban areas (10 percent) than rural areas (6 percent). An estimated 43 percent of new infections occur among people engaged in “mutually monogamous” heterosexual relationships. (ref:

Women are disproportionately affected, accounting for 57 percent of all adults living with HIV.

The number of new infections (an estimated 120,000 in 2009) exceeds the number of annual AIDS deaths (64,000 in 2009), and it is feared HIV prevalence in Uganda may be rising again.

In spite of the above statistics the Ugandan Government is pushing to implement an Anti –Gay bill that will only drive an already stigmatized population underground. In fact gay men find no mention in Uganda’s strategy for HIV prevention.

This will create fear of access to services and absence of health seeking behaviour amongst gay men and increase the HIV prevalence amongst them in a country where already there are one million people living with HIV.

QAM urges the Government of India and its Parliament to protest against the move by Ugandan Government to criminalize same-sex behaviour with all its other implications.

As an Indian community that is affected by similar Common Wealth Laws, we hope that the Indian Government continues to end discrimination against its LGBTI communities. We hope that the verdict in section 377 case be announced and positive steps to end the stigma and discrimination in India are followed.

QAM will meet on 1st December 2012 at The Humsafar Trust to be a part of the World AIDS day activity as well as participate in an HIV/AIDS march on 4th December 2012 to highlight the issue of discriminating laws and policies that devastate LGBTI communities in Uganda.

In view of the developments in Uganda and the health and human rights issues that it would raise, we have decided to protest from AIDS day to Human Rights day and our protest would be called

“India’s 10 day Galaata Against Uganda’s Kill Gay Bill”

‘Queer’ stands for all LGBTI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex) as well as for Hijra, Kothi, Panthi individuals. This is a sexual minority group not accepted by Indian society that recognises only two genders and considers only heterosexual relationships valid. Queer Azaadi March(QAM) is an expression, a voice, a celebration and a platform to ask for equal rights of these individuals conducted in form of an annual parade in Mumbai. QAM also advocates for LGBTI equality through media, new age media and more importantly in real spaces.

Pallav Patankar: 9619012251
Harish Iyer : 9833100340

Please find a PDF copy of this press release here.

Mumbai Pride March on February 2, 2013


It’s official now!

Mumbai Pride March on February 2, 2013

Please mark your calendar and plan your holidays in advance.
Pride week flags off on January 26, 2013! Planning begins now. Do take part in planning and organizing the event and attend pride planning meetings.
Watch this space for updates. To receive email updates, hit the follow button on the sidebar.

.QAM 2013 Date AnnouncementPhotograph courtesy : Sachin Jain

QAM 2012 Fundraiser Party Faces Homophobia – Press Conference at 5 pm Today


On behalf of QAM, The Humsafar Trust is arranging an urgent press conference at Humsafar Drop In Center, Vakola, Mumbai on January 14 2012 (today) at 5 pm. Please reach out to the press and inform as many of their members as possible.

Please turn up in large numbers! We need your support!

When : January 14, 2012 5 PM onwards

Where: Drop In Center, The Humsafar Trust, Third Floor, Manthan Plaza, Vakola, Santacruz (East), Mumbai.

Say ‘NO’ to homophobia and discrimination!

Queer Azaadi Zindabad!!

Personal account of yesterday’s events by Pallav Patankar:

Dear Qammers

The Gossip Fund Raiser party was held last night in Metro Lounge in Oshiwara. Gossip had a QAM fundraiser wherein every entry contributed Rs.100 towards QAM. The party had revved up enough numbers and people seemed comfortable in the disco area and the terrace above. At 11:45 pm Vivek , and I were about to leave the party when Sibi mentioned that there was an issue downstairs.

As we walked towards the exit we had the venue staff telling us that we could not leave since there were police outside. A guy wearing a pony tail, beard, kohl eyed and wearing a vest was standing there instructing the police to go and check on the party. His name is Haji Ahmed Sahab Bawa (HASB) claiming to be a member of the NCP. He also was showing videos that he had clicked inside the party.  He was threatening the venue staff that he would raise complaints against them and that seemed to have freaked them. There was confusion for some time as to whether we could leave or not. Some of us stood at the gate asking the cops the exact reason why they were present. The cops mentioned that they were checking on the venue’s permissions and seeing if everything was in order. Although the cops were not being very aggressive, HASB was giving directions to the cops as to what they should do.  He kept talking incessantly on the phone shouting “Media ko bulao!”.

Sibi tried to speak to the cops and HASB by mentioning that  we are doing nothing illegal and that section 377 reading down clearly states so. HASB mentioned that his party had ordered a stay in the Supreme Court against reading down of section 377 (factually incorrect). He kept threatening the police and the venue staff.

Vivek and I tried to understand from the police  what exactly the issue was but we were not getting any clear answers. We requested the police that we would like to address the issue at the police station and understand the reason why the party was being stopped. They mentioned that they were from Oshiwara Police Station. We ensured that all party goers be safely allowed to leave the venue and police co-operated. As we walked out there was a huge crowd that had collected on the street outside. HASB came out and I yelled out to him that we wanted to see him in the police station and understand his issues. He did not hear me and ran towards the car as I ran behind him yelling at him to come to Oshiwara Police station. He was accompanied by a guy who held me and pushed me away, I asked him if he was police, since he was in plainclothes. I told him that he had no proof that he was the police. He pushed me away again. I told him that he had no business touching me. The guy dashed along with HASB to the car and said that they were going to the police station. I told him that I did not believe that he is going to the police station and what if he got away. I went close to his car and started taking pics of HASB. By this time a crowd of 10-15 from the party had collected and had surrounded HASB’s car and refused to let him drive away. We took more pictures.  We finally let him drive away when we were assured by the uniformed police that the guy with him in the car was a policeman.

We went to the Oshiwara police station and saw HASB’s car waiting outside.  A crowd 30 people  from the party of collected outside Oshiwara Police station. Vivek, Praful, Sibi and I were allowed inside to talk to the police station. It was a long wait. HASB sat with the police inspector, Shirsat of Oshiwara police station and gave his complaint in writing. While HASB was with the police, the policeman in plainclothes got into an argument with us. He said that he would make an official complaint that he was attacked by the party goers. We calmed him down and explained that we were all homosexual men and we saw nothing wrong with that. We have a Pride March on the 28th which has valid police permissions and we are only fundraising for it. After that he calmed down and said that he was on duty and we were free to present our point of view to the police inspector. Then the police discussed the issue with the Gossip venue manager and asked him to “kill the issue”. The manager was extremely worried about his venue being in trouble and did not wish to make a big issue about the incident. He kept on asking us to back out. We refused saying that it was not about the venue but an issue about our identities being attacked, and that due care would be taken that the venue did not face any problems. We insisted that we speak to Inspector Shirsath. Sibi, Vivek and I presented ourselves at Shirsat’s table and discussed the issue. Shirsat mentioned that he had no problems with the party and there is no illegality with being gay. He quoted HASB and mentioned that he had asked HASB to produce documentary evidence that says that gay parties are illegal. Shirsath mentioned that ideally when a party is being organized there needs to be an intimation to the local police station about the party, they did not have it and hence they were obliged to act on a complaint by HASB. On the whole Shisrath was very cordial and apologized if on behalf of his police team there was any inconvenience caused to anyone.

Shirsath mentioned that there would be a meeting in Oshiwara Police station on Saturday along with HASB and someone, either Vivek or me maybe, called to present our point of view. HASB has filed an NC of damage to his car.

We asked Shirsath how we could file a complaint against HASB. Shirsath replied that he would give us his details and we could do the needful.

Outside the crowds were on the street till 2:30 am. We went out and apprised them of our conversations with the police. Mid Day and Times Now Reporters were outside for the story and the crowd of 30 faced the cameras to say that we were fundraising here and we were not scared anymore. We will fight this harassment and ensure that QAM 2012 is a success!

Back at Vivek’s house I could not sleep until I had typed this out.

Pictures Against Prejudice: Photo/Cartoon/Caricature Contest 2012


Pictures Against Prejudice

Photo/ Cartoon/ Caricature Contest 2012


Theme : Lives of LGBTHIQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Hijra, Intersex, Queer) Community or interesting depictions of the Pride Colours (Rainbow)

Submission Deadline : 10th January, 2012
Exhibition at: Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Chembur
Exhibition Date: 21st and 22nd January, 2012

Contest Guidelines:
Anyone globally is welcome to participate.
Not more than five entries per category is allowed.
Entries should be original, non published images taken by the participant. Basic use of Photoshop is permissible.
Subjects could be people, props, landmarks, wildlife, nature etc. No restrictions.
Submission of images grants ‘Get Over It!’ the license to use them with proper attribution to the participant.
For caricatures and cartoons, scanned images will also be accepted.
Entrants are allowed to participate in multiple categories.

• Best entries will be exhibited at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences as part of Mumbai Queer Pride Week.

Submission Guidelines:
Please send high resolution images to,
Format- jpeg, 300 dpi
Please include the following information :
– A brief biography of the participant
– Participant contact information
– Title of the photograph
– Brief description of the image, including when and where it was taken and other relevant details
– Participants may submit entries anonymously, under a pseudonym or their real names.

Please participate and share this invite with all your friends and encourage them to be a part of this global movement.
Good Luck!
Team Get Over It!

For instant updates on The Queer Azaadi March, The Pride Week and allied events please hit the ‘Follow’ button on the sidebar.

Dance Rehersals for Flash Mob (QAM Pride Week)


Dance Rehersals for Flash Mob (QAM Pride Week)

Powered by Yariyaan


When: Sunday, January 8, 2012, 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Where: Drop In Center, The Humsafar Trust, Third Floor, Manthan Plaza, Vakola, Santacruz (East)

Dear You,

So after all your ideas pouring in, we’ve managed to finalize our songs and theme. Our songs are set and getting mixed. Our venues are also fixed. Now all we need is YOU!
Don’t worry too much about dancing, you are in safe hands. Dev Kakad has agreed to choreograph the queer pride week flash mob for us. He has organized successful flash mobs all around Mumbai.
We just need 2 days of your time for 4 hours each. The steps are all simple so you don’t have to be a trained dancer! We are aiming to be at least 100-150 in number.

So be there, we need you, like we all know there is strength in numbers!

Much Love,
The Yaariyan Core Team

For instant updates on The Queer Azaadi March, The Pride Week and allied events please hit the ‘Follow’ button on the sidebar.

Every paisa counts!


QAM is a completely non-profit movement that relies on people like you to keep up the momentum! Please donate generously to make this year’s QAM more memorable and eventful than before!

We’re thrifty and sensible and will handle your money with extreme care. Your donation can create a better community tomorrow. Rest assured that every rupee that you give will be well spent!

Ways to Donate:

1. Online Payment Gateway through PayPal (The easy way)

One of our partners, Gaysi, has hosted a donation interface for QAM. You can rest assured that this donation is completely anonymous! Just click on the following link and scroll down to find the ‘Donate’ button (if you’re literally inclined and have a few minutes at your disposal, you can also read through the humorous write-up by our dear gaysis) .

2. Offline Donation:

Cheques/ Cash can be dropped at the following places prior to the March (28th January 2012):

1. The Humsafar Trust/Center for Excellence (CEFE), Riviera CHS, Flat 1, Ground Floor15th Road, Near RBI Colony, Santacruz (W) Mumbai 400 050.

2. GayBombay (GB) hosted events

We thank you for your generous donation!