Turn up at 4 am at Lulu Mall on Wednesday and you will see that biking is not just about fitness. A bunch of youngsters will set off on a cycle journey to Thrissur, sparking protest against gender discrimination and proclaiming solidarity to gender rights.
The riders will take to the streets flashing rainbow t-shirts imprinted with rebellious messages against gender discrimination. The journey will end at VIBGYOR film festival, the pro-human rights fest organised by the Sangeetha Nataka Academy at Thrissur.
According to the organisers, the idea was inspired by a the recent unfavourable decisions and verdict against the queer community, including the Supreme Court’s criminalizing gay sex.
“We were thinking to organise some sort protest in Kochi against gender discrimination for some time now. VIBGYOR came right on spot and thought it’s the apt place for us to head to, spreading awareness and proclaiming solidarity with LGBTS rights,” said marathoner Ajay Appadan, one of the organisers of the biking.
But, what does ‘S’ mean with the LGBT ? “The ‘S’ stands for straight,” says Christin George, COO, MindHelix Technologies and another organiser of the rally.“We are talking about human rights here and don’t want a divide based on the community that we support. It is to signify that we’re all on the same team, we’re all in this together and we stand as one,” he said.
Apart from the support of enthusiastic bikers agreeing to join the ride, including two class XII students, the campaign has also received decent response from social networking sites.
The bikers wear the protest in their sleeves, literally, with the tee-shirts designed for them saying “Love is a terrible thing to hate” and “Against Ignorance” among many other things.
“The prime disposition of the majority against queer people is that of hatred. Their love is something that people want to hate, we believe it’s ignorance that makes people like this,” says Christin.