LGBTQ+ Pride Parade has been occurring in the state of Gujarat since 2013. The first march in the state was held in Surat on the 6th of October, 2013. Since then, there has been at least one pride event/march that’s been held in Ahmedabad and Vadodara.
The first march was organized by LGBTQ+ activist Swagat Shah. The pride had over 150 participants from Gujarat and Mumbai take part. The march took place from the New Civil Court till Kargil Chowk. In the same year, Ahmedabad held a Pride March. On 1st December, the march began from IT Building till the Gandhi Ashram. The Chief Guest of the event was Ahmedabad’s, Major Meenaxiben Patel. The participants were school students, students from IIMA and parents of the LGBTQ+ people.
In 2018, the city of Vadodara held their first pride march under the banner “Vadodara Samman Yatra” on 1st July. The march started from Dairy Den Circle till Yog Niketan.
Vadodara witnessed their queer pride parade on Sunday, 30th June. This made them the second pride parade in India to coincide with the global Pride Month. The parade bore witness to over a 1,000 members of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Intersex (LGBTI) community, allies and parents of the LGBTQ+.
“We are calling it Vadodara LGBTQ Sammaan Yatra. This parade is being held to push for the equal rights and dignity for lesbians, bi-sexuals, and the rest of the LGBTQ community. This is to tell society that we all have a right to live with dignity,” Kartika, a member of Forum Foundation, said while speaking to ANI.
“If the Supreme Court has struck down Section 377 of Indian Penal Code (IPC), which criminalised same-sex relations, then the society should also support us,” added Kartika.
Multiple parade-goers came all decked up in their favourite outfits, full of colour and rainbow flags. Loud drums played as the flags wave through the air. Multiple placards read “Dad, we need to talk” and “What is normal anyway?” The goers dance through the streets, in celebration of who they openly are, and their identity.
The parade was to take a step closer to banishing discrimination faced by the community and create awareness to the people of Vadodara.
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