Naharlagun: The significance of ‘LGBTQ+ visibility’ that creates a vital sense of individual belonging and safety for the community was discussed at length during the third “queer community meet-up” organized by the AP Queer Station at the Oju Welfare Association (OWA) here on Saturday.
AP Queer Station is a newly-formed rainbow community support group of the state.
The meet-up which was attended by around 15 LGBTQ+ members from the Itanagar Capital Region and the Lower Subansiri and West Kameng districts also saw the participants “discuss and highlight the need for more public awareness and the significance of education to break down the social taboo that has been since long hovering over the community”.
Earlier, while interacting with the participants, lawyer and activist Ebo Mili shared his side of concern for the LGBTQ community and assured that his team will put their best foot forward when it comes to fighting for the rights and other important legal battles of the community.
Stressing on the impact of trauma, psychologist Yuma Narah reminded the members the significance of being careful with one’s words, thoughts and language as something ‘trivial’ for someone can be a ‘triggering factor’ for another.
Sawang Wangchha, the founder of AP Queer Station, in his address spoke about the importance of community meet-ups and how unanimous unity can help in the all-around development of the queer community.
He also expressed his gratitude to Oju Welfare Association chairperson Ratan Anya for her relentless support to the community members and for providing them a safe space to conduct their meetings.
Wangchha said his team will be organizing more such community meets as well as awareness and sensitization programmes in the days to come.
The meet included a short film-watching session in which a short film titled ‘Gender Identity’ was shown to the attendees.
The film was followed by a brief story-sharing session during which the core members of AP Queer Station — T R Nending, Taw Simon Tara, Rituraj Borah and other members shared their life experiences “to invoke a sense of community bonding and peer support”.
Mental health professionals from Arunachal Pradesh Psychological Association (AAPPA) and a few legal rights practitioners also participated in the meet and motivated the community members.
The LGBTQ+ community of the state still faces several challenges like intolerance, discrimination, harassment, etc.