Buzz with Danu - Pride Month

Jun 12 2024.

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Today on the Buzz I speak to Rosanna Flamer-Caldera as EQUAL GROUND celebrates 20 years of advocacy and service to the LGBTIQ community!  Rosanna Flamer-Caldera, co-founder of the Women’s Support Group in 1999, is the founder and Executive Director of EQUAL GROUND(2004-to present).  EQUAL GROUND is a nonprofit organisation seeking economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Questioning/Queer (LGBTIQ) community of Sri Lanka 


1. Do you feel there has been a change in a positive way towards expectancy? 
Over the years there’s been a lot of change. Mostly positive. We still have a long way to go.

2. ⁠What is it that we in Colombo do not get a chance to see when it comes to the true discrimination in rural areas?
It’s really hard to put into words but poverty, and the lack of education on the subject all lead to families and people treating their LGBTIQ family members like pariahs.

3. How have the 20 years in the Journey for equality been? Not without a few hiccups, but all in all a very satisfying journey.

4. Where would you say is the biggest issue - religion, politics or society? All 3 I would say. All 3 unfortunately are intertwined

5. What does Equal Ground hope to do for the next 20 years? Keep doing what we do. Decrim might take place but there’s still more to be done for acceptance and social services to be available for all without discrimination

6. How have you been able to engage the private sector? 
DE&I sensitising programmes are an integral part of EQUAL GROUND’S work as they make workplaces safe for LGBTIQ employees, thereby improving their ability to stay employed and become economically independent. As these DE&I sessions are one-off sessions, EG decided to develop an e-learning tool – partnering up with a company specialising in the creation of e-learning tools to enable companies to be more proactive and engaged in integrating the understanding and support of the LGBTIQ community within corporate settings. The module was developed in all 3 languages. 

7. What are some of the main advocacy messages from Pride this year? 
EQUAL GROUND has held annual PRIDE celebrations – an important event in the Sri Lankan LGBTIQ calendar –  since 2005. Colombo PRIDE offers a diverse range of events which are held to encourage the Queer community and its allies to come out and be proud. It is also an educational and sensitising exercise where the message of diversity is addressed in a holistic way paving for better understanding and acceptance of the Queer community by the larger Sri Lankan citizenship.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Danu Innasithamby

Danu is a Jaffna Boy with a Marketing qualification (only because he needed to study, and not because he wanted it). He has been a part of the team for seven years and is the face behind Buzz with Danu, and WTF.


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