Private Project

Walking the Walk

The LGBTIQ movement in India celebrates its growth and successes with a series of pride marches in various cities and small towns across the country all year around. Unlike parades, these events draw inspiration from India’s anti-casteist and feminist movements, acting not only as celebrations, but also as political protests. Like in the west, these marches are also spectacular displays of color, costume, and resilience.

Walking the Walk follows the participants of Hyderabad’s queer Swabhimana(self-respect) pride walk in February 2015, that was held in protest of the brutal murder of a trans woman named Pravallika in January 2015. The walk draws inspiration from the most recently successful social movement which led to formation of a new state in India, Telangana. This film demonstrates how a collective of activists do more than talk the talk; they set into motion a political movement that celebrates small successes, demands resources for working-class transgender people, stands up to police violence, and allows the community to grieve for lost loved ones.

In India, the most visible face to the queer community – the Hijra community – also is the most victimised: rape, violence, discrimination, and even death are motifs of their daily existence. To a lesser degree, the other transgender, gay, lesbian, bisexual, and queer-identified Indians go through similar ordeals. The film also brings attention to these gruesome acts of violence to raise awareness within the mainstream society.

Walking as a form of protest against discrimination and exclusion has a long history in India. Dr. Ambedkar’s historical "Mahad Satyagraha" walk in 1927 protested caste-based discrimination at one of its fundamental levels: access to water. It was Gandhi’s "Salt Satyagraha" walk in 1930 against the unfair salt tax of the British that ignited the people to take to the road. Since then countless anti caste and anti colonial marches have galvanised the masses to fight for freedom – but these struggles must be kept vitally alive today. It is important to not only fight the British colonial residue in the form of an archaic Sec. 377 (that criminalizes homosexual behaviour) but also to fight the deep rooted stigma in the society and bring it to understand and accept alternate genders and sexualities. A public walk aims to do just that. Queer Indians have learned not to hesitate to talk the talk. This film shows how they also walk the walk.

  • Moses Tulasi
  • Moses Tulasi
  • Moses Tulasi
  • Rachana Mudraboyina
  • Greeshma Aruna Rai
  • Sadhak Navadeep
  • Karthik Bittu
  • Vyjayanthi Vasanta Mogli
  • Mala Mukunda
  • Charan Ks
  • Andy Silveira
  • Amrita Lawrence
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Runtime:
    32 minutes 38 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    April 30, 2015
  • Production Budget:
    2,500 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
    English, Hindi, Telugu
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Chennai Ranbow Film Festival 2015
    Chennai, India.
    June 26, 2015
    India Premiere
  • Chennai International Queer Film Festival 2015
    Chennai, India
    July 24, 2015
  • Chicago South Asian Film Festival 2015
    Chicago, USA
    August 21, 2015
    USA Premeire
  • Seattle South Asian Film Festival 2015
    Seattle, USA
    October 20, 2015
    Seattle Premiere
  • Depth of Field International Film Festival 2015
    September 30, 2015
    Exceptional Merit
Director Biography - Moses Tulasi

Born and brought up in a small town, Warangal in the state of Telangana, India and inspired by the Hindi parallel cinema of the early 80’s, Moses Tulasi was always keen on films with social relevance. During his career in technology, Moses pursued his passion for film making at Chicago Filmmakers. He had also served on the board of Trikone-Chicago for six years, a support group for LGBT individuals of South Asian heritage and allies.

In the winter of 2014, Moses took a sabbatical from work and traveled to India, tracing his roots back, in search of a socially relevant subject for his first film. Moses was inspired to give a platform to socio-politically charged queer rights movement in the city of Hyderabad, set against the backdrop of recently successful social movement which led to formation of a new state in India, Telangana in June 2014. This is how the documentary film Walking the Walk was made.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

It is a very important and sensitive time for social movements in India. With religious fundamentalism combined by pseudo-nationalism showing it’s ugly head and acts of violence against marginalised communities becoming more prominent, I feel it is a matter of urgency to further radicalise human rights movements. And LGBTQ rights are very much human rights.

My film "Walking the Walk", through the medium of voices and emotions from Telangana’s first pride walk in Feb 2015, attempts to ask a few hard questions. There are questions posed to the mainstream society, to the state and also to the leaders within the movement across India. In a democratic nation, why do some people have more rights and some less? Is it the society that influences the law or is it the law that influences the society to bring in social changes? If parents have real love towards their children, why aren’t they able to accept their children for who they are? How inclusive is the movement? Are the rights of transgenders' a matter of tokenism within the LGBT rights movement? Why hasn’t the NALSA judgement been implemented yet? These are a few such questions that need to be answered. In those answers will lie a potential for change.

My film, though Telangana pride, also presents a few opportunities. I believe it is time to strengthen the movement by bringing in intersectionalities between other social movements like the anti-casteist and the feminist movements and thereby mount a larger movement. I believe it is time to take the movement to the working class people and galvanise masses, drawing inspiration from the recent successful movement that led the creation of a brand new state in India - Telangana.