This is a crucial year in the struggles of LGBTQI people in Kerala and India. Trans people have finally achieved some legal and government support, with the 2014 Supreme Court ruling in favor of transgender rights and a Transgender Policy made by Kerala government last year. There has been a greater public visibility for trans issues, especially for trans women. But we have yet to see how these government initiatives will be implemented in practice, and trans people still face great levels of violence, discrimination and social exclusion.
At the same time consensual same-sex relationships are still criminalized in India by IPC 377, and the rights of sexuality and gender minorities in their personal lives, the right to sexual expression and love, are still not recognized.
“We are in an important historical moment where some of our issues are finally getting public and state recognition, and yet there is so much that needs to be achieved,” said the organisers of the 7th Queer Pride Walk which will be held in Calicut this year.
In Kerala, a state with strong social movement and civil society traditions, Queer Pride is an important public expression of visibility, self-respect and solidarity which has a strong impact on social, cultural, and political perceptions.
“We have conducted Queer Prides in Kerala every year since 2010, at varying cities such as Trissur, Ernakalum, Trivandrum and this year Calicut.”
This year should be the biggest Pride ever, with seminars, queer film festival and art exhibits over 3 days, concluding on August 12 with Queer Pride March from Kozhikode Beach to Town Hall, followed by Public Meeting and Cultural Performances.
“We are lesbians, gays, intersex people, bisexuals, trans men and trans women, queer identified people and allies and supporters from diverse social movements, coming together to protest, advocate, educate and celebrate. Please join us by contributing to our Pride.”