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: