KUALA LUMPUR, April 16: 50 Shades of Gay (FSoG) an awareness campaign created in India created by journalist and filmmaker Shubham Mehrotra.
The campaign, which is a unique photo series, features young and old from all over India who identify as gay, bisexual, lesbian, transgender and queer.
Shubham told The Malaysian Times (TMT) that she started 50 Shades of Gay after she noticed an absence of organisations/ mainstream media highlighting LGBTQ voices in India.
“(The) campaign is to attract people’s attention to Section 377 and change perceptions of the LGBT community in India; a minority which sadly are subjected to inequality and injustice on a daily basis in a country which does little to counter its entrenched homophobia,” she said.
FSoG was initiated four weeks ago and is said to be receiving great response from LGBTQ community and the press.
FSoG is trying to bring justice to millions of LGBTQ people in India who are being subjected to discrimination, hatred and abuse.
It has been talked about on The Indian Territory Mirror and Mid-day news and was also picked up by United Kingdom’s number one ranked LGBTQ news portal- GayStar News.
As the campaign has evolved, Shubham has been giving LGBTQ people a platform to tell their stories through striking photographs and experiences.
She took to the streets to interview the transgender (hijra) community as well, which were known in ancient Indian myths that they have special powers to bring luck and fertility.
However, according to FSoG, despite this supposedly sanctioned place in Indian culture, hijras have been granted very few rights, and as a result of their low social status, most of them cannot seek employment or education anywhere.
Shubham said that she truly feels that stories have the ability to connect people, open minds and change policies and believes that LGBTQ rights are human rights and that everyone should be treated equally.
Sushant Divgikar, a well know Indian TV personality and a gay icon is also supporting the campaign. The fierce and proud Mr Gay World India 2016 is also featured in the photo series.