One of the parents is Padma Iyer who famously took out a classified to try and find her son a husband

A group of parents with LGBTI children made history in March when they came together to work on strategies to support the LGBTI community and now their group has grown.

The second meeting of the Parents Support Group recently was not only bigger than the first, but they were also able to give their group a name.

The advocacy group will now be known as Sweekar: The Rainbow Parents. Sweekar means acceptance.

Sweekar’s second meeting was a day-long event that attracted 13 people where they spoke about becoming a vehicle for networking, advocacy and outreach for parents of LGBTQ children.

The moms and dads started the day by sharing of personal stories of how they came to know about their child’s sexuality and how they made the journey of acceptance. They then discussed ways to involve more parents, and planned future activities of the group.

‘Sweekar is a group formed by the parents of the LGBTQ children with the aim of supporting each other to accept one’s child fully and be happy as a family,’ said parent Chitra Palekar.

‘The members of this group met to share their own acceptance stories; to freely express their concerns in the safe and confidential space; exchange information about related issues and empower each other through solidarity.

‘We hope more and more LGBTQ parents will join the group and through acceptance of their own children, transform the perceptions of the society’

Padma Iyer became known internationally after she put out a classified ad in a local paper looking for a husband for her son, the well-known LGBTI activist Harish Iyer.

‘This meeting was an eye opener for me. We heard some soulful touching stories about the parents,’ she said.

‘The fact that we were just parents meeting parents helped us open up. There were facilitators who helped with their expertise in furthering and shaping the conversation but this is precisely a parents’ driven initiative.’

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