In line with Rotary’s commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), RAC Ramnarain Ruia College, RID 3141, organised Crystal Queer — “a celebration of the people of the LGBTQIA+ community” in the words of club secretary Anusha Potnis who is a Class 12 student of this college which has junior college and under graduation courses on its campus.
The celebrations extended to two days and included ‘Sunday Street’ on the Marine Lines in Mumbai on the first day. “Flash mobs, face paintings, free hugs and flowers and loads of laughter and love helped us convey the voices of the community to over 300 people around the area,” she says.
A seminar on ‘Queeriosity’ was addressed by Vikki Gaikwad. Curious teenagers and adults cleared several of their doubts on the topic. This was followed by a movie screening in the college auditorium.
“In all, the project hit all the target spots; to promote the community, inclusivity, spreading awareness and reducing homophobia. “We also generated a lot of visibility for the college as a result of Crystal Queer,” says club president Snigdha Gavali.
The event proved to be significant in addressing homophobia, which alienates gay people in society. The impact of this project was huge. “Not only did we manage to get a massive number of people to change their thinking regarding the community, but also helped people confused with, or exploring their sexualities to gain more clarity about all the terms of LGBTQIA+. It also helped certain people find the strength to finally come out of the closet, be open, and to celebrate their own sexuality,” says Snigdha, who had put up a face painting stall at the Sunday Street event.
Club members Rucha Ranade and Avani Bhagwat were the chairpersons for Crystal Queer.