Imphal: The recently concluded Rainbow Literature Festival 2023, which took place on December 9 and 10 at Gulmohar Park Club in New Delhi, witnessed the active participation of individuals from Manipur. Among them were filmmaker and actor Priyakanta Laishram, as well as transgender rights activist and writer Santa Khurai.
The festival boasted an impressive line-up of more than 60 speakers, entertainers and performers, who covered a wide range of topics in approximately 30 sessions. Its main objective was to celebrate queerness and love, while also advocating for inclusivity.
Throughout the festival, various themes were explored, including the intersection of love and the law, social hierarchies and identities, the interplay between mythology, literature, and culture, as well as the connection between queer rights and feminism.
Priyakanta Laishram made a significant contribution to the panel discussion titled “Homes & Families.” During this session, he shared his personal journey as a queer individual growing up in Manipur.
Priyakanta eloquently expressed how his films, such as “Who Said Boys Can’t Wear Makeup?”, “The Foul Truth,” and “Oneness,” have served as a powerful medium for conveying his ideas and genuine emotions. Additionally, he shed light on his intricate relationship with his father and the creation of a safe and accepting environment within his chosen family.
Meanwhile, Santa Khurai unveiled her memoir book, “The Yellow Sparrow,” at the festival. This captivating book delves into the numerous challenges and struggles she has faced as a transgender woman throughout her life.
Santa also actively participated in the panel discussion titled “Of Trans Lives, Depiction, Rights and Understanding,” wherein she shared her invaluable insights and experiences.