Tamil is a language specific to the southwest Indian state of Tamil Nadu, and now director Malini Jeevarathnam has created a song (“Lesbian Anthem: Ladies and Gentle Women”) using the language in such a way for the first time ever.
‘Lesbianism is not a western influence or something that exists in the upper class,” she told the 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.”
Same-sex relationships are illegal in India, and Jeevarathnam created the song and it’s messaging as part of a documentary she’s made “in attempt to show how the rights of lesbians continue to be opposed in our society.”
“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 honor killing because of their sexual orientation. I hope this documentary acts a platform to bring such incidents to light.”