Colombo, Sri Lanka 25th May 2021: EQUAL GROUND, together with Équité Sri Lanka, Jaffna Transgender Network, National Transgender Network, Sathguna Padanama (Galle) and Queer Agenda Sri Lanka welcomes you to COLOMBO PRIDE 2021. This is the 17th edition of Colombo PRIDE organised by EQUAL GROUND. This year the celebrations will be mostly virtual and will take place in the months of June and July, due to the current adverse situation. The theme this year – ‘Power, Respect, Inclusion, Diversity, Equality’, embodies the spirit of the LGBTIQ community in Sri Lanka – resilient in spite of the many complexities that exist in this country today.
Colombo PRIDE has always been a celebration of Queer identities, encouraging and inspiring the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, and Queer/Questioning (LGBTIQ) community and its Allies in Sri Lanka to be proud of who they are. It offers a safe space to celebrate Queer culture and lives, while fostering fellowship and comradery. This year, partnering with Sri Lanka’s emerging organisations and groups across the country, Colombo PRIDE expands and encourages the LGBTIQ community to embrace PRIDE island-wide.
“I am so delighted to expand Colombo PRIDE to a nationwide celebration of Queer culture and diversity. During these hard times, we need safe spaces to celebrate our true and authentic selves. We are all part of a big family and in this spirit, we reach across the country to include all our brothers and sisters with PRIDE. While Sri Lanka’s laws are not friendly towards the LGBTIQ community, we want to show that together we can get society to accept us as we are. Rather than being shunned for our diverse sexual orientations and gender identities and expressions, we want to find joy in these differences, and inspire those around us to do the same.” (Rosanna Flamer-Caldera, EQUAL GROUND).
“Covid-19 is proving to be a difficult challenge facing our communities this year. Celebrating pride this year means celebrating resilience and re-energising community spirits. We know our community members have been working tirelessly to combat queer/trans phobia all while being disproportionately affected by the pandemic situation. JTN is launching a series of activities to lift up the community spirits locally in conjunction with Colombo Pride 2021. In the recent years, the north saw an increase of LGBTIQ+ visibility and activism, but we are yet to see a coordinated Pride Month effort of this scale. Networks and partnerships of solidarity across the country are hugely important for achieving parity across all regions! The joint effort to celebrate Pride 2021 is a step in a hopeful direction. JTN and our community members are thrilled to be celebrating Pride month through this joint effort! Happy Pride 2021!!” (Angel Queentus, Jaffna Transgender Network)
“Équité has joined hands with EQUAL GROUND and other LGBTIQ rights organisations because we understand the importance of working together as a community and presenting a united front, as we face and navigate through these difficult and challenging times. Despite the formidable challenge of COVID-19, we are glad to be able to celebrate PRIDE in this manner. We believe that this partnership will be vital in our efforts towards gaining equal rights for the LGBTIQ community.” (Adhill Suraj, Équité Sri Lanka)
“We would like to begin by Thanking EQUAL GROUND, and everyone that coordinated this collaboration. We here at TheQueerAgendaSL feel extremely privileged to be able to celebrate Pride with a few incredible organisations that have actively worked towards creating a safe space for the LGBTQ+ community.
When it comes to being queer, we personally believe that it is important to celebrate ourselves as individuals because it takes a lot of courage to be unapologetically yourself! But Pride Month is all about coming together as a community to stand up against those that live to oppress us. The pandemic has posed several challenges in relation to hosting/attending face-to-face events, thus, another year of online celebrations. However, through this collaboration, we hope our message shines through. We exist! Our sense of community is strong! ”There’s strength in numbers,” this old adage has been true for bringing about change despite a barrage of social injustices.” (Queer Agenda Sri Lanka)
EQUAL GROUND is a non-profit organisation seeking economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Questioning/Queer (LGBTIQ) community of Sri Lanka. It is committed to creating a safe space for all LGBTIQ individuals and to providing opportunities for self-help including mental well-being, economic, social and political empowerment, access to health, education, housing and legal protection for the LGBTIQ community. The overarching goal of EQUAL GROUND is to decriminalise same-sex sexual relations between consenting adults in Sri Lanka.
Équité Sri Lanka brings together a closely knit team of multi-disciplinary experts, experienced in research, advocacy and development/humanitarian programs. It was formed as a non-profit trust in 2017 and is operated by a group of enthusiastic human rights activists in Sri Lanka. Our vision is to achieve equality for the LGBTIQ community, women and youth in marginalized settings in Sri Lanka.
The Queer Agenda Sri Lanka is a volunteer-based initiative, with zero financial support, devoted to the promotion of LGBTQ+ rights in Sri Lanka. Our immediate objective has been to contribute towards decriminalising homosexuality in Sri Lanka. We use social media to disseminate information as it enables us to appeal to a larger audience and educate queer and heterosexual people alike on SOGIESC issues within Sri Lanka. Moreover, we aim to highlight members of the queer community who have been actively advocating for LGBTQ+ rights in Sri Lanka. The Queer Agenda Sri Lanka is an initiative which strives to promote equality and acceptance at all levels in Sri Lankan society.
Email – email@example.com
Instagram – @thequeeragenda.sl