At The End Of The Rainbow (Fatigue), Queer Collectives Take Centre Stage


On July 1st, when the clock strikes midnight, all the brands shed their rainbows, and influencers stop trying to sell us discounts for being gay. The facade of allyship doesn’t result in anything less than fatigue. Meanwhile, queer artists, curators, and collectives are finding ways to bring intersecting narratives to the forefront. India has the largest queer population in the world, and therefore the impact of building such opportunities sets an example for the global LGBTQIA+ community. Here are some collectives that are developing ideas and opportunities that consciously platform more queer narratives:

Maveli Nadu

Operating as a publication house and cultural research platform, Maveli Nadu highlights Indigenous storytelling in marginalised communities across gender and caste. Their recent publication, ‘Leaping Towards the Deep Blue Sky,’ is a collection of poetry by Ambedkarite women in Maharashtra who get to showcase their work for the first time. Their first issue, ‘Debrahmanising Gender’, investigates how caste and gender produce and sustain each other, and they also conduct regular open calls for visual art, poetry, and mixed media projects that highlight the intersection of queerness and caste.



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Started out as a support group for queers and allies in Ahmedabad in 2016, Queerabad expanded its weekly Ask What You Will sessions to curated screenings, performances, and an annual zine titled Tilt. Queerabad has grown with support from community resources, spaces, and individuals who volunteered their time to ensure that the city would have a space for both queer folks and allies. In an attempt to disseminate knowledge, Queerabad publishes short booklets in English and Gujarati while focusing on building relationships within the larger community to destigmatize queer lives.

Awadh Queer Pride

Based in Lucknow, Awadh Queer Pride organised the first Pride March in Uttar Pradesh in 2017. Started by volunteers and led by Darvesh Singh Yadvendra, they enable the local LGBTQ communities to gain an understanding of their rights around health, voting, and legal frameworks. By organising free STD testing camps and aiding trans citizens with registration, their work has made a significant impact across the smaller towns of Uttar Pradesh. Every year, people pour from the corners of the state—Banaras, Kanpur, Gonda, Hardoi, Uttaraula—to be a part of the pride march.

Aravani Art Project

Aravani Art Project is a Bangalore-based collective run by trans and cis women, reclaiming spaces through art. They train and commission local trans artists for art projects in order to provide employment and create vibrant murals to raise awareness about the different aspects of queerness in India. They hold space for community engagement through experiential installations, research projects, mixed media, works, etc. and have previously collaborated with Khoj Studios, Microsoft, LinkedIn, and Kochi Biennale.

Revival Disability India

Initially starting out as an online magazine, Revival Disability India brings forth first-person narratives by several writers, artists, and activists to highlight the multitudes of gender, queerness, and intersectional ableism. This year, they’re building a programme called Enabling Care, which aims to create discourse around disability care through outreach and mentorships. They are also launching an Emergency Care Fund to provide therapists, cover medical expenses, provide mobility aids, and provide a repository of resources for the community.

Over the years, the community has begun to establish several subculture spaces for multimedia projects, murals, zines and progressive storytelling. Queers and allies are shaping spaces that can sustainably support local queer cultures or create their own platforms. All these unconventional ideas emerge because we’re tired of watching the multitudes of our identities remain confined to what is digestible during Pride Month.

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