Online self-publishing and Audio Books portal Pratilipi is celebrating Pride Month by introducing some of its finest LGBTQIA stories on every weekend in June.
Preeti Nair, Pratilipi, Lead, Corporate Communications, says, "We have over 25 genres wherein our authors contribute, and LGBTQIA stories are one of them. Quite a few of our author write stories for the community. While #ReadForPrideWeekend was introduced this year itself in the Pride Month, last year, we had organised an #LGBTQIA writing contest that was judged by an eminent gay activist."
The month-long celebration will present stories in Hindi, Malayalam, Tamil, and Kannada. Some of the highlights from #ReadForPrideWeekend include Chirraiya Jo Markar Bhi Udti Rahi by Dhiraj Jha a real-life inspired story of love, lust and betrayal, which has been read by over 16K+ readers on Pratilipi.
Ek Pyaar Samaaj ka Abhishaap by Aarav ki Kalam, a nine-episode story, that revolves around the central characters Aarav and Abeer and their unfulfilled love story.
Veshamo Vesham Kettalo by Muhammed Asif, a winning entry from Pratilipi's #LGBTQIA contest which depicts the story of Raji, a trans woman who through her appearance on a talk show changes the host’s perception of trans women.
Also up for reading is Ammaiyappan by Geetha Mathivanan, a story of a man in a man in a heterosexual marriage who gradually desires to be a woman, and undergoes a sex change. Premada Hosa Paribhashe by Dr Jyoti Sirasagi explores the true meaning of love without any barriers/biases, the story is about Raghu who gradually explores his sexuality as he grows up and falls in love with a boy.
His family is against this love and the story narrates the different hardships their relationship undergoes.
"Even in these times, there are a lot of taboos around the LGBTQIA community. #Read- ForPrideWeekend is an initiative to highlight these creative pieces by our authors who are trying their best to spread awareness even in the hinterlands of the country," says Nair, adding, "It was tough for us to select these six stories for the Pride Month. But we selected them purely on the basis of the content. We have tried to include stories that communicate a powerful message of inclus ivi ty to the larg er community."
This initiative is till the last weekend of June, but these stories will be available on Pratilipi for the readers even after that. On whether India has started fully accepting the rainbow community, she says. “India is a country with a huge population and diverse social beliefs.
While with the recent amendments to laws related to LGBTQIA community, we have to a great extent started speaking about it, accepting different forms of sexuality and a lot of people have even started coming out of the closet but still there’s a long way to go. We feel that writing is a very powerful tool and we hope our authors will continue to explore more such stories to spread awareness.”