Meet India’s first and only LGBTI choir, Rainbow Voices Mumbai (VIDEO)Entertainment News, Online Only, Section 4A, Top Highlights Friday, July 14th, 2017
India’s first and only LGBTI choir, Rainbow Voices Mumbai, were formed in 2014 and offer support for LGBTI people in India and raise awareness around LGBTI rights.
Homosexual activity remains illegal in India under Section 377 of the country’s penal code. The choir are championing the work of local advocates in their efforts to overturn this law.
Members of the choir have been in London over the past week for their first official trip outside of India. They were invited by Pink Singers, Europe’s longest-running LGBT+ choir. For some of them, this was their first visit to Europe.
GayStarNews.com caught up with members of the RVM for a video exclusive on their experiences. Watch the video above.
One of the highlights of their trip was marching and performing on the main stage at Pride in London last weekend. They will conclude their trip by performing alongside Pink Singers at London’s prestigious Cadogan Hall tomorrow evening (15 July).
‘As we started marching we saw the welcome. We saw the smile on the face of the people. It was amazing,’ says Lokesh Chandra, one of the choir members interviewed, on his first Pride in London experience.
In India, section 377 criminalises sexual activities “against the order of nature”. It was introduced to India by the British under colonial rule in 1862. Rainbow Voices want to use their talents to raise awareness of the lives of LGBTI people in India, and their current lack of rights.
Manasi Manoj, the lone female member of the choir on the London trip, talks passionately of what performing with the group means to her and others.
‘In India girls don’t have as many right as boys do in general so we’re fighting for feminism on one side and LGBT rights on the other side. So this space, as a bisexual woman, and as a girl in particular, is a safe place for me.
‘There are other people who feel safe at that place so when we’re singing there it’s like the only moment that we really feel ourselves.’
David Hudson, Deputy Editor of Gay Star News, said ‘Here in London, we take our freedoms for granted. It can be all too easy to forget how different the situation is for LGBTI people in other parts of the world. There are many places where it takes far more bravery to stand up as an LGBTI person, or to – literally – sing it out loud.’
Short URL: http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=81115