London Gay Art Festival GFEST Organisers Niranjan Kamatkar And Subodh Rathod Got Married

First Asian Same-Sex Couple got married in Haringey, London, United Kingdom on 29th March 2014.


Subodh Rathod and Niranjan Kamatkar after wedding at Haringey Civic Centre – Image Credit : Vanita Bhavnani

The first same-sex marriages took place on 29 March in England and Wales. A North London based same-sex couple, Subodh Rathod and Niranjan Kamatkar were the first couple to marry at 9.30 am on the same day at the Civic Centre in Wood Green.
Both Niranjan and Subodh are of Indian origin and senior family members and friends attended the wedding ceremony.
International development minister and MP for Hornsey and Wood Green Lynne Featherstone, who successfully presented the same-sex marriage bill in the parliament attended the wedding.


Wedding ‘Selfie’ took by Niranjan Kamatkar on David Lammy’s Phone, with Subodh Rathod, DFID minister Lynne Featherstone MP and Benjamin Cohen, founder


















Haringey Mayor Cllr. Sheila Peacock along with Tottenham MP Mr David Lammy were present to show their support to the newly wedded couple. A number of Lesbian, Gay and Queer artists, filmmakers and community members also attended the historic event.
Subodh Rathod told BBC Radio 4 World Tonight programme on the eve of the wedding, “I believe we are the first Asian Same-Sex Couple to get married. We haven’t come across any couples where both partners are of Asian origins in the entire world (who are officially married before).”
Niranjan Kamatkar added, “We are delighted and feel privileged to be able to marry. I hope, one day, all same-sex couples around the world will have the right to marry and will be able to express that love is for everyone, irrespective of the sexual orientation.”
Currently no country in Asia officially recognises same-sex marriages.
Subodh and Niranjan met at the first South Asian Gay Conference in India in 1994.
The couple work for arts charity Wise Thoughts, which presents London’s annual LGBT art festival ‘GFEST- Gaywise FESTival’.

For updates and a part of wedding ceremony podcast visit :
Contact :  020 8889 9555 / info @ wisethoughts  . org (remove spaces) for further information and images.

Photo gallery: click on images to see enlarged versions.



Niranjan Kamatkar


Subodh Rathod

Haringey's first Asian same sex marriage ceremony. Picture  Tony Gay  #SnNWeddingRing by Vanita Bhavnani Mayor Sheila Peacock, left, and MPs David Lammy and Lynne Featherstone, at Haringey's first same sex marriage  Picture Tony Gay SnNwedcakecuttingby Vanita Bhavnani SnWedmain3byBaldo SnWedBWmain4byBaldo Subodh, left, and Niranjan sign the register. Picture Tony Gay Haringey's first same sex marriage ceremony. Picture Tony Gay

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Podcast / broadcast video : First Asian same-sex marriage in London, UK

Video : First Asian same-sex marriage in London, UK streamed -  Subodh Rathod and Niranjan Kamatkar are married on Saturday 29 March 2014, at 9.30 am in London.


Subodh Rathod & Niranjan Kamatkar

The wedding took place at Wood Green Civic Centre, North London. Live podcast was at 9.30 am (United Kingdom time):

Live streaming video by Ustream

#SameSexWedding BBC Radio 4 World Tonight Interview Start at 36.15 min – World’s First Asian Same Sex Couple Subodh Rathod and Niranjan Kamatkar married in London on 29 March 2014 - Start at 36.15 min – Ends with Shehnai music by Bismilla Khan




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Arts Charity Wise Thoughts presents art and dance classes as part of ‘Creative Cultural Hub’ at Wood Green Library


The second round of exciting arts and creative classes will be run by arts charity Wise Thoughts as a part of its Creative Cultural Hub – CCH initiative in Wood Green Central Library in Haringey. The workshops and classes are led by experienced and enthusiastic workshop facilitators.

Accomplished performer Subodh Rathod  will run ‘introduction to South Asian dance form of Kathak, entitled ‘Ang’ –  using rhythm as a base to choreograph a gamut of movements and narratives.  These classes will take place from Monday 20 January 2014 to Thursday 6 February 2014.

Professional artist Jason C Woodson will present  ‘Identity’ – visual art workshops using the ‘Exquisite corpse’ (digital collage) as a guiding concept. Participants will create their own personal exquisite corpse using elements that they choose to represent themselves into a cohesive piece.  The classes will run from Friday 24 January 2014 to Sunday 16 February 2014.

Established artist  Matthew W Stradling will run workshops entitled ‘Room to Grow’ in which he will explore ideas of identity and gender through some playful and exciting creative exercises.  He will facilitate the sessions from Tuesday 21 January to Wednesday 5 February.

The above artists will run artists lab sessions specifically targeted at local artists in order to form a creative network and develop showcase activities in North London.

Niranjan Kamatkar, artistic director of Wise Thoughts said, “This is a fantastic opportunity for diverse members of the public in North London, artists and Haringey residents to gain skills and be part of sharing or showcase in February 2014, LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) History Month.”

The workshops are suitable for people aged 12 and above.

For further information, including how to book, visit:

Wise Thoughts recently organised and delivered London LGBTQI cross-art festival, GFEST 2013 in November.

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London LGBT Cross-art GFEST 2013 showcase video released

GFEST – Gaywise FESTival 2013 events took place at Bernie Grant Arts Centre in Tottenham, North London, from 7 to 9 November 2013.

GFEST 2013 Showcase Video
GFEST — Gaywise FESTival® is London’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex (LGBTQI) cross — art festival for all.
Film By: Stoo Iresen

GFEST organiser arts charity Wise Thoughts has announced – Leading up to LGBT History Month of February – Creative and Cultural Hub (CCH) Workshops/ classes

More info on:


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Wadham College Oxford Hosts London Gay Art Festival GFEST Exhibition

Wadham College, Oxford ‘Queer Week’ activities feature an exhibition of  ‘Same Sex Kiss’ by Niranjan Kamatkar. The image collages and video captured from a live installation in Trafalgar Square in Trafalgar Square and were first exhibited as part of GFEST – Gaywise FESTival in 2010.



GFEST is recognised as ‘London’s Gay and LGBTQI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex) cross-art festival for all’. The Exhibition was first showcased at Westminster Reference Library Gallery , Leicester Square in November 2010 and subsequently shown at St. Ann’s Library  in North London as part of LGBT History month in 2011.

SameSexKissatWadham3 15 minutes of ‘Same Sex Kiss’ is now exhibited at Old Refectory, Wadham College, Oxford from 18 November to 23 November, 5 to 7 pm.

SameSexKissatWadham2Niranjan Kamatkar mentioned, “LGBTQI rights have been offered a boost through the hosting of the exhibition and other events in the UK by eminent college like Wadham. I hope it further asserts the unique ability of the arts to be at the forefront in shaping and presenting a cultural shift.”

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Visitors Enjoyed GFEST 2013, Gay Art Festival in London

In its sixth year GFEST – Gaywise FESTival, which is recognised as ‘London’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex (LGBTQ) Festival for all’ came to close on Saturday 9 November with sensational hip-hop performances and a Bollywood theme party.

Artistic Director of the festival Niranjan Kamatkar noted, “I think all the visitors to festival mentioned that they enjoyed the GFEST 2013 events. Wise Thoughts, the arts charity that organises the festival,  would like to thank all the GFEST 2013 artists, supporters and volunteers for putting together the events.”

Some feedback was already mentioned on GFEST twitter channel @GFEST:

Great #weekend visiting @GFEST A huge success… can not wait for next year. #art #artwork said one tweet

@EvOn_Scarlett @GFEST u was damn hot baby nuff respect xxxxxwhoop whoop amazing – Pic from…

Another mentioned: Great night @GFEST .. Thank you as always

Some tweets about the GFEST 2013 films said:

Saw @newblackfilm: #NewBlackFilm screening at @GFEST at @BernieGrantAC last night Fantastic, fascinating documentary

Fab project on gender seen at @GFEST screenings

GFEST – Gaywise FESTival is an annual festival that takes place in November and is orgnised by London arts Charity Wise Thoughts which has office in Wood Green Central Library in Haringey.

GFEST 2013 images from Saturday the 09 November below:

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Audiences Moved By London Gay Art Festival GFEST Films, Music Acts Tonight

GFEST – Gaywise FESTival® 2013 film events took place at Bernie Grant Arts Centre in Tottenham with a critically acclaimed line up of films yesterday.


Some London and UK film premieres at GFEST 2013 included: My Genderation – Alice, Bumming Cigarettes, Miss Nizhoni, Hide & Seek (Chuppan Chupai) and the feature doc ‘The New Black’.


Audience feedback suggested that they enjoyed GFEST 2013 film programme and people mentioned they were moved by all the films.





GFEST2013Filmspic01GFEST2013Filmspic03A Filmmakers Q & A took place after the screening and ‘My Genderation’ series filmmakers Raphael Fox, Lewis Hancox, Alice along with ‘Hide & Seek’ Filmmaker Saadat Munir, who flew in from Denmark for the screenings, answered the queries about their films.

More GFEST 2013 workshops will take place today at Bernie Grant Arts Centre N15 4RX, along with a sensational line-up of Music acts. A Bollywood theme Party follows the music performances at UK capital’s Gay art festival.

More information please visit:

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