Lesbians gather in Bombay for film festival

BY Advocate.com Editors

October 14 2003 11:00 PM ET

Agence France-Presse reports that lesbian organizations from around the globe are gathering in Bombay this week for a gay film festival that will showcase works from Southeast Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, and other parts of the world. The event is noteworthy because homosexuality is banned in India. "We are creating a package of films and videos around the theme of sexual and gender minorities," said Chatura, an organizer of the event, who goes by one name only. "This three-day campaign will highlight the gender and sexuality problems among lesbians in India."

Lesbian activist Geeta Kumana told Agence France-Presse, "Any two people caught in the act of lesbianism or homosexuality are liable to be punished under Section 377 of [the] Indian Penal Code." Organizers hope the "Humjinsi" (relationship between same-sex) film festival will aid the movement toward gay rights in India. "[It] will help to complement the already existing and ongoing work within the sexuality and gender minority movement at the grassroots level in India," said Chatura. "We look at it as a political tool to generate more visibility, facilitate a public discourse, and celebrate our various existences."

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