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Openly happy and gay in Orissa January 27, 2009

Posted by nitinkarani in dnaindia, English, Lesbian, LGBT, Organizations, Personality.

From DNA:

Subhashish Mohanty
Monday, January 26, 2009 2:42 IST


Bhubaneswar: Homosexuality is coming out of the closet in Orissa. “Orissa is now ready to discuss issues of trans-sexuality, lesbianism and gay sex,” says Oriya film personality Dr Sarat Pujari.

Till only a few years ago nobody would even think of discussing such issues. But on Saturday, over a 100 young girls, around 20 eunuchs and a number of gays turned up at an auditorium here to see movies on AIDS, sex and trans-sexuality as the Siddhartha Gautam Film Festival-2009 kicked off in Bhubaneswar.

The festival is organised by the Solidarity and Action Against the HIV Infection In India (Saathii)

“We organised the film festival to create awareness on these untouched subjects,” said Mayadhar Rath. Four films — Ame Chari (We Four), Mamatara Phul (The flower of Love), Bhul Re Bhul Karani (Never do a Mistake for Mistake Sake) and 68 Pages were screened followed by a panel discussion on gender, sexuality, human rights and HIV.

The film festival is being organised in memory of Siddhartha who pioneered the work and died of cancer at the age of 28.

Most Orissa girls who witnessed such an event for the first time, said they would always support free and safe sex. “Every individual has the right to enjoy sex,” said Kalpana Bishoi, a student of Centre for Rural Development-IMS. Instead, even trans-sexuality and lesbianism are welcome, she said.

“I would never mind indulging in lesbianism, as long as it keeps me happy,” says her friend Swarna Prabha Mohanta.

Most all them sat nearly five hours through four movies.

Most eunuchs who attended the festival were aware of the use of condoms to prevent AIDS. They complained that they continued to be ostracised socially. “Why do people continue mock us,” asks Basant Kumar Das, a transgender.

On Sunday, mobile film shows were organised in Bhadrak.”Film shows will also be held at Titlagarh and Balangir on January 27,” said Pawan Dhal, country director of Saathii.

Incidentally, a girl from Raghunathpur area left her house on Friday and moved into her “girlfriend’s” house.

Raghunathpur police O-C BN Samal, however, does not see it as a case of homosexuality. According to him, “this was a case of love and friendship”.



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