The Sunday Leader

Colombo Pride: Closets Are For Clothes

Colombo Pride Fashion Show

The Colombo Lesbian, Gay, Transgender and Bisexual community held a colorful fashion show at the Galadari Hotel on June 20th. This event brought awareness and visibility to Sri Lanka’s diversity of sexual of orientation. Homosexuality may be technically illegal in Sri Lanka under ‘gross indecency’ laws. Certainly, no legislation exists to protect the rights of this minority group. Sunday’s fashion display, however, showed a community that was proud and aware of their sexuality and supported by a broad base of Colombo society.

The event was organized by Equal Ground, a non-profit organization working for gay rights in Sri Lanka. Executive Director Rosanna Flamer Caldera participated the show and opened the evening saying ‘closets are for clothes’. This fashion show was a part of Colombo Pride week with events continuing throughout the week. Details and photos and video are included below.

24th June: Rainbow Pride party (Tickets for sale at EQUAL GROUND from 10th June onwards)

1 July: Special Film Screening – “Beyond Gay: The politics of Pride” – Hosted by the British High Commission

5-7 July:
• Rainbow Visions – LGBT Art and Photo exhibition
• Celluloid Rainbows – LGBT Film Festival – Hosted by the British Council

10th July: LGBTIQ theatre performance – “Leave a light on for me”

11th July: Rainbow Kite Festival on Mt. Lavinia Beach

Contact us for details on venues, tickets, times and any other information.

Tel: 94-11-2512977 or 5679766

Model at Colombo Pride

Model posing

Models at fashion show

23 Comments for “Colombo Pride: Closets Are For Clothes”

  1. Lola

    Wow! congratulations! guys this is awesome.

  2. Crow

    We do not need this western maniac system in our country. Don’t only talk about rights, talk about responsiobilities as well. Everything in a scoiety should have a limit and also one person’s freedom should not influence a whole society. So fk the “Equal Ground” NGO. These NGO are working in the interest of the west and not loving their own country.

    It is time to kick these NGO out of the country.

  3. Calistus Jayatilleke

    It is surprising that in this modern age and time, there are still people who think that differently abled people are a curse. One should not forget that they are also God’s creations and not “children of a lesser God”. So, live and let live.

  4. gamed77

    God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah with the children of a lesser God. These western rubbish shoud not be allowed. At present we have enough of 5 star democracy in our country. Tha is one of the reasonswe cant get any development project in our country. Let these people remain in the closet….

  5. ha. if being ‘straight’ was the minority group, none of you jokers would be screaming like this. being gay is not a choice. leave them alone. everyone deserves the right to be happy regardless of religion, sex or sexual orientation. no one has the right to prevent others from doing what they want (as long as its not illegal)

    • Lasantha

      Thanks Mr Gamarala. I’ve struggled with being gay all my life. And it infuriates me to think these pea-brainers on this page (apart from you) think I would chose such an awful lifestyle by choice. Every day has been a struggle – made worse by ass-holes like this having no idea what it is like to be homosexual.

  6. John

    Homosexuality should not be condoned. That does not mean we hate gay people but we don’t approve the world’s immoral attitude towards it. If you allow a little a lot takes place and before long we ll have gay people legally adopting children. Without a balanced mother and father relationship we will encourage distorted views amongst children.

  7. Mr T

    It’s true this is a western influence… however the sexual orientation of these people are not because of the influence… it’s how most people are born… Sri Lankan history provides lot of evidence that this type of people existed long before this western influence started… So, I dont have a problem accpeting them as a part of the society… BUT.. doing this sort of stuff doesn’t really help.. by doing this they only separate themselves from the normal comminuty… by calling themselves gay and lesbians etc… this is a fashion show.. it should be about fashion… not your sexual orientation….

  8. sash

    Give them their rights to do whatever they want.
    If you dont have homosexual genes, then it should’nt bother you one bit!

  9. Country Lover

    Who are these so called minority group, what rights are they looking out for. Simple bunkum. If they are abnormal whom to blame is that trait a disability not at all. So let them be as they wanted to be. Even normal citizen of this country has forgone many basic rights at this juncture. Your journal must never have given such prominence to ludicrous humbugs.

  10. Sarana Halpe

    This is a tremendous success and it’s simply great to see this happening in Sri Lanka. Those who are against this, you lot should be sent out of the country, to a place like afghanis-flipping-stan.

  11. Neither Buddhism or Hinduism condemns or otherwise passes any negative messages against Gay, Lesbian, Bi-Sexual or Transgender people so why do some people get to ‘wound up’ about others peoples persuasion?

    It is the Western religious doctrines that have spread homophobia throughout the world, not tenets that hold love and compassion towards ALL living things as their core values.

  12. Fer Ond

    I read with amusement some of the comments that state – “being gay is a western influence”, – “let these people remain in the closet” and I find it amazing to find that so many people, with facilities available seek to remain blind and uneducated and yet wish to pass judgement.
    I am gay, have been gay without any ‘western influence’, am a buddhist and believe myself to be spiritual.
    We have been harassed and marginalized for too long… because of a society that wishes to use us but ignore what we are….well….Its time to change….we are all around you….as doctors,engineers, lawyers, in the military, in politics, in education, in banks……so wake up guys…we are not going away……we are here to stay….and the closet is way too small to keep in the growing numbers of persons who have decided to come out!!!!!
    Educate yourselves….free yourselves of the burden of ignorance and understand that we are entitled to have the same freedom and protection that you enjoy.

  13. Revanta Bulathsinghala

    All hail to EQUAL GROUND for taking this bold stance and telling it like it is. Only feeble minded, bigots and homophobes can think like the lot who have left some really uneducated and ignorant ravings on this comments list! this is a Buddhist country….apparently only in name!

  14. d.k. kumaran

    the whole premise of the universal declaration of human rights is just that….all humans must be given their rights. just because “Even normal citizen of this country has forgone many basic rights” does not mean that we must continue in this way. It is time we forgot about class and caste, religious and cultural differences and embraced everyone for who they are. I say give them their rights…they deserve it. Without them, we would be a drab unhappy lot with bad haircuts!

  15. Hector Owen

    This reply is for those posted disgusting homophobic comments: This is another example of how much the colonial mentality has crept into your heads while claiming about morals and ‘pure’ Sri Lanka!!! Just look at pre-colonial India, Sri Lanka, African nations etc to see how accepting homosexuality and transgendered people were before the Brits wrote the penal codes of these countries and criminalised homosexuality in order to “civilise” the “uncivilised” natives! Now you people happily blow the same bandwagon!

  16. HappySammy

    I raise hands and applaud those who founded Equal Ground. I can imagine how much of courage it took to stand against those who don’t seem to understand…Do not let these people break your goals and spirit!! Good luck and all the best to you and your team

  17. WAZIM

    EQUAL GROUND goto hell

  18. WAZIM

    lol, and you say “kaame sumechara wera mani sikkhapadan samaadhi aami” is only for male – female ??? ;D

    ela ela, waiting to hear the comments of a proper buddhist

  19. WAZIM

    please don’t let these NGO donkeys spoil our culture….protect Srilanka !

    homosexuality is a weakness just like hypersexuality, and it has to be controlled not practiced.

  20. roshini

    i like cd add me

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