Celina Jaitly Honoured With Harvey Milk Award

Bollywood actress and LGBT activist Celina Jaitly has been honoured with the Harvey Milk Award in US.

The award is named after Harvey Bernard Milk,  the pioneer of gay rights in America. He was an American politician who became the first openly gay person to be elected to public office in California.

Celina  dedicated the award to two Bangladeshi activists who were murdered and said she wants to share it with Indian LGBT activists.

Celina took to Instagram  to share a photograph of herself being feted with the award. Charles Radcliffe of the UN Human Rights Commission and Milk’s inspiring nephew, Stuart Milk honoured her.

In an emotional speech, she said she was dedicating the award to two Bangladeshi (LGBTQI) activists who were brutally murdered. As people heard her with moist eyes, she said she did not want credit for something that is born of a collective process.

She also announced that she wants to share the medal with Radcliffe and prominent Indian LGBT activists: Ashok Row Kavi, Laxmi Narayan Tripathi, Prince Manvendra Singh Gohail, Sridhar Rangayan, Harish Iyer, The Naz Foundation, Humsafar Trust and Geeta Kumana.




Hollywood star Ellen Page to Shoot Film on Indian Gay Culture.

Openly lesbian star Ellen Page known for known for ‘Inception’, ‘Juno’,’ X-Men’ n is in India shooting something very cool.

Page is filming a show called ‘Gaycation’ which explores the diverse cultures of sexual minorities around the world. The actress is here for a few more weeks and is likely to cover Mumbai, Delhi and varanasi. The idea is to get an in-depth insight into the gay culture of India, understand the struggles and the resistance the community faces, the stigmatization as well as the country’s homophobia. This will really be an inspiration for Indian filmmakers.

Apurva Asrani, who wrote the script for Aligarh, is one of the guests who’ll feature in Gaycation. Apurva wrote on his timeline, “Page came over to my place recently and met the family. She’s an extremely humble, unassuming person who I had a great time interacting, especially about Aligarh which she absolutely loved. I am also one of the guests on the show that she’s shooting.”

Apurva Asrani and family with Ellen.


She anchors the show with her close friend, Ian Daniel. Gaycation has taken Page and Daniel to several countries. Like Japan where they saw a young man come out to his mother on camera and Brazil, where they encountered a man who admits to killing gay people. Let’s see how this show represents Indian gay lives.

Ellen Page got an standing ovation during her coming-out speech.


Our Leader, Our Pride: Harish Iyer

Harish Iyer (37) is one of the most vocal opponents of the recriminalisation of homosexuality in India. An equal rights activist is known for campaigns for rights of LGBTs, women and children.

In 2013, he was named in the list of the 100 most influential LGBT people in the world by British Daily ‘Guardian’. Pink Pages also named him one of India’s seven most influential gay and lesbian people.

He runs several awareness campaigns to educate the people about homosexuality. He’s been writing several articles, letters and blogs on the subject. We watched him on Satyamev Jayate, NDTV’s popular talk show ‘We The People’, in Hindi talk show ‘Zindagi Live’ and in BBC2 documentary “OUT THERE”.

Everyone was surprised and delighted when his mother Padma Iyer placed what may be India’s first gay matrimonial advertisement. While many top Indian newspapers refused to carry the advertisement, it was finally carried by MidDay.

Iyer routinely uses social media to campaign for causes dear to him. He turned his personal blog as a helpline during the 26/11 Terror Attacks. Iyer later organised an animal aided therapy workshop along with Animal Angels in Mumbai to help citizens recuperate.

In 2009, Iyer and Shobhaa De initiated a campaign called S.I.T.A. (Sensitivity in True Action) to condemn the attack on women. http://www.indianexpress.com/news/blow-whistle-on-eveteasers-literally-blogger-tells-women/449025/0
In 2014, he appeared in a PETA ad campaign encouraging consumers to go vegetarian.

His life inspired two films, director Onir’s I Am and Ranadeep Bhattacharya and Judhajit Bagchi directed Amen.

A book by Payal Shah Karwa called The Bad Touch featuring the biographic account of Iyer has been published.

Visit Harish Iyer’s Q&A space Sexolve on The Quint.

Read  some of his interviews here:

Interview Aam Gaysi : Coming Out Is A Process, Not An Impulsive Decision

Interview : The Mr. Quirky, Harish Iyer

“An Interview with Harish Iyer” – Ruth Prabhu.


‘Queer Against Quacks’- Fight Against Gay Cure!

The Humsafar Trust has launched campaign ‘Queer Against Quacks’ which focuses on battling against the stigmatization of sexual and gender differences as mental illnesses and diseases.

The campaign, will go on till May 17 with a rally at Azad Maidan. May 17 is International Day Against Homophobia, Tranphobia and Biphobia. The campaign is supported by the Indian Psychiatric Society (IPS).

World Health Orgainization, The Indian Psychiatric Society and the World Psychiatric Association have clearly affirmed that being gay is neither a disorder or a disease. Being homophobic definitely is.

The organizers must appeal to suspend and punish those doctors who are giving shock treatments to gays and asking them to have sex with members of opposite sex.


A campaign by Humsafar Trust