Indian LGBT activists wrote a lesbian anthem in Tamil

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‘Ladies And Gentle Women’ is the first ‘lesbian anthem’ recorded in Tamil, which is the official language of the south western state, Tamil Nadu. It tells a lesbian love story and wants to highlight the struggling of gay women in the area where lesbianism is a crime. . Director Maalini Jeevarathnam said the song is going to tell the wide audience that lesbian love exists regardless of location. ‘Lesbianism is not a western influence or something that exists in the upper class,’ she told Times of India, ‘It is natural in both people living in the villages and the cities, and all classes of people. And we wanted to portray this aspect in the music as well. When you do a song on the subject, the song becomes a platform to reach lakhs (hundreds of thousands) and lakhs of people.’

‘Won’t you dare to soar/come by my side girl,’ the singer says in the song. ‘You adorned me with your golden garland/and you set my life aflame you delightful demoness.’ The song was released alongside a documentary of the same name. Jeevarathnam directed the projects to show lesbians have a long way to go to be achieve equality in India. ‘I have been fighting for the rights of LGBT people and campaigning against them committing suicide,’ she said. ‘Last year alone, there were 17 deaths of LGBT persons in Chennai. These are the ones that have come to our knowledge and there are more men and women who are either committing suicide or losing their lives to honour killing because of their sexual orientation. I hope this documentary acts a platform to bring such incidents to light.’

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