Rain­bow flag flies at US mon­u­ment

DNA (Daily News & Analysis) Mumbai Edition - - FRONT PAGE -

Gay rights ac­tivists, who worked to get a rain­bow flag in­stalled per­ma­nently at the newly cre­ated Stonewall Na­tional Mon­u­ment, are up­set the Na­tional Park Ser­vice says the flag isn’t ac­tu­ally on fed­eral land but on prop­erty owned by the city.

The dis­tinc­tion may seem like a mi­nor one be­cause the flag is still fly­ing ei­ther way. But to the group that had lob­bied for the flag to be added to the site, the Park Ser­vice’s sur­prise an­nounce­ment that the city, not the fed­eral gov- ern­ment, would be main­tain­ing the flag and its pole seemed like a be­trayal.

“They’re try­ing to make the gay com­mu­nity in­signif­i­cant,” said Scott Goren­stein, a spokesman for Wed­nes­day’s flag ded­i­ca­tion event. “They’re try­ing to make us dis­ap­pear. We’re say­ing we are here, this is our flag.”

The Park Ser­vice de­nied that any slight was in­tended, but the dis­pute threat­ened to dim the mood at the ded­i­ca­tion cer­e­mony, in Man­hat­tan’s Green­wich Vil­lage. Many ob­ser­vant and funny peo­ple be­come co­me­di­ans. They know how to lure their au­di­ence with satire and sto­ry­telling. But what if you are an in­tro­vert? Like 27-yearold Tanika God­bole, who finds ver­bal com­mu­ni­ca­tion dif­fi­cult and stress­ful?

So, the Mumbai-res­i­dent chan­nels her cre­ativ­ity through car­toons with a se­ri­ous heart. Miss­fit Comic, to be read on Face­book, takes on sex­ism and misog­yny with sar­casm and re­al­is­tic puns. “I want to make peo­ple think, make them laugh. I do that through my comics with­out be­ing present in the same room,” says God­bole.

“The name ‘Miss­fit’ is a play on ‘Miss’ to high­light the fem­i­nist un­der­tones of the comic,” says God­bole, a self­taught artist. In­spired by in­ter­na­tional web comics, she felt the urge to ad­dress is­sues that are preva­lent in In­dia and started draw­ing them her­self. “My mother and a few friends were my first read­ers. Now I get pos­i­tive feed­back from strangers, and my comics are slowly gain­ing pop­u­lar­ity.”

Talk­ing about her most pop­u­lar comic

(Get mar­ried and ev­ery­thing will be al­right), she says, “It was in-

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