ITANAGAR- On the second day of the Arunachal Literature Festival, organizers once again featured the ‘Queer and Allies session,’ providing a secure space for the marginalized community to share their narratives and experiences through poetry and performances.
The event, reminiscent of the previous year’s gathering in Namsai, drew a packed and engaged audience, with many attendees moved to tears by the participants’ sessions.
Moderating the session was Manabi Bandyopadhyay, the trailblazing first openly transgender Indian college principal.
The panel included renowned LGBTQIA+ writers such as Sanjana Simon, A. Revathi, Partha S. Majumdar, as well as local queer figures and their allies, including Wanggo Socia, Moge Basar, Raju Ghising, Babuilu Towang, and more.
Closing the session, Padmashri Y.D. Thongchi honored all the queer participants from other states and shared insights into his work on queer topics.
Queer activist Sawang Wangchha expressed gratitude to the Department of IPR and APLS for providing a platform for his community.
He specifically thanked Y.D. Thongchi, Jamuna Bini, and the IPR officers for empowering the marginalized and neglected community to share their stories and be visible.
Wangchha emphasized that it’s time to dispel the notion that LGBTQIA+ individuals are only found in mainland or foreign lands, underlining their presence in Arunachal Pradesh and challenging the stereotypical belief that everyone in the state is heterosexual.
Padmashree Y.D. Thongchi assured continued support for the community through art and literature. The event garnered attention from diverse audiences, including Anuja Chandramouli, an author recognized for her contributions to fantasy and historical fiction, alongside writers from various states.