Identity

Finding a Place for Pride on Wikipedia

An annual edit-a-thon ensures the effects of Indian Pride month endure online.
Helping bridge the knowledge gap on Wikipedia. Image: Feminism in India and Gaylaxy magazine.

As Pride month wrapped up on June 30th, a bunch of people devoted their Saturday to ensuring that the progress made in terms of visibility and awareness would live on, online. Specifically, through an edit-a-thon of the existing Wikipedia pages for India's Pride Parades.

Among the participants gathered at the Instituto Cervantes in Delhi were Ruth Chawngthu, 21, a digital editor with Feminism in India. Instead of hanging out with her friends on the weekend, she told me “it’s important that people have resources in case they want to look for them.”

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Chawnghthu was busy adding content to the Pune Pride page, one of several added to Wikipedia last year by Feminism in India and Gaylaxy magazine, who also organised this year’s event. Last June, “there were just four Wikipedia pride pages,” said Sukhdeep Singh, editor-in-chief of Gaylaxy. “We added 10 new pages.”

FII has been organising edit-a-thons monthly since 2016. FII founder Japleen Pasricha told me, “Wikipedia itself conducted a survey in 2011, and found that only 9 percent of editors globally are women. 91 percent are men. As a feminist organisation, one of our aims is to increase the representation of women on the internet.”

Some of the Wiki pages edited and created by FII include: List of Indian sportswomen, Indian women in politics, Indian Women in Law, Indian Women in Tech, Indian Women Authors.

Gaylaxy editor-in-chief Sukhdeep Singh says Gaylaxy partnered with FII for edit-a-thon on Pride marches since last year. Image: Gaylaxy & FII

Most of the participants on Saturday’s event were first-time Wiki editors. Tanvika Gulyani, a 21-year-old Gargi college graduate said, “I always wanted to work in LGBTQ-related area. I am interested in blogging and editing. This will give me good experience in content writing.”

She was adding information from news reports to the Nagpur Pride page. “I added quotes by organisers,” she says.

Richa Mishra, 19-year-old, “If I can do this, then why not? I got to learn so much.”