“Loving yourself throughout the year is no reason to not make a big deal on your birthday,” say Gaurav Durasamy and Abishek Elango, co-founders of Tailor & Circus, a homegrown underwear brand that has been championing inclusivity and body positivity since its inception. When it comes to inclusivity across groups and intersectional identity portrayal whether it be different body types, skin tones, gender, sexuality, disabilities or religion, most brands only have annual targeted campaigns that seem more like lip service than anything else. But when it comes to Tailor & Circus, their year-round commitment to celebrating people, in all their diversity and intersectionality has been a much welcome change. After all, being queer isn’t just a June thing and neither is being a person with a disability limited to just a campaign or annual reminder.
In this spirit, for Pride Month this year, the brand wanted to not just raise awareness but also have a consistent tone of triumph and happiness. When asked why they chose to have a Pride campaign despite the fact that they do celebrate queer joy year long, the co-founders reminded us, “Pride month is an opportunity to highlight the brutality of queerphobic violence, to raise awareness about the epidemic of systemic queer discrimination, and to challenge the ignorant fetishization of queer sexuality. But more than anything, it is a month to celebrate the joy of queer existence. Our brand has consciously always had this objective, so we were inclined to use it and enjoy it for what it is.”
The Queer Joy Campaign
When it comes to the creative process for the campaign, photographer Roshni Kumar, an ally of the community for a long time, was chosen to document the many faces of the LGBTQIA+ community. Talking about the campaign, the co-founders said, “And to that end, there was none better than Roshni Kumar whose entire life is an unapologetic testament to this. And in true queer spirit, the casting for her shoot was done entirely blind with no barriers at all to coming on board. In fact, the shoot just ended up materializing a month before Pride. It had not been planned that way but it worked out perfectly.”
“We also wanted to cover different dimensions across the campaign — sexuality, identities, communication, and even food but with a clear and consistent tone of triumph and happiness. So, we identified experts for each of these and developed every creative, every live session, and really every bit of content in tandem with them, often with complete creative freedom and yet a fully defined purpose. A team favourite was the ‘South Asian Queer Food Stories’ created with almost all inputs from the Centre for Studies in Gender and Sexuality at Ashoka University,” they added.
Queerness, Brands & A Post Article 377 India
In a post Article 377 world, what is it that campaigns like these hope to achieve? The co-founders say, “The goals never change.” Adding further, “Which is not a good thing because it is mindlessly exhausting fighting the same battles over and over, making slow progress, many times regressing and having to start again all to be recognized, validated and most importantly, protected by the different layers of government and society. However, each issue is part of an overarching narrative that demands reconciliation with intolerant and claustrophobic definitions of culture. So, there are always so many more challenges than successes, both of which sometimes are legislative and judicial reform. What we wanted to achieve though, was a celebration of the successes because no matter how small, they are real and significant. Just like our queer family.”
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