Do we still need pride parades? After Section 377 was abolished, and being LGBTQ+ is no more criminal, do we still need it? Dehradun saw its first pride parade in 2017, hosted by the Prayojan Kalyan Samiti. Yet again this year, we are excited to share the news about having the second pride parade in the city on 25th August. And the truths about the LGBTQ+ situation that came out during the parade will tell you exactly why we have to continue marching.
Every step is a milestone. It strengthens the fight for equity and rights.
This year is more important since the judgment which came in September 2018, the regressive Transgender Protection Rights. The Parade is a platform to create a safe space for the members of the community.
The aim is to create a pride that serves as an inclusive event that brings the community together to cherish the judgment and also raise voice against the anti-queer legislation in the parliament.
The parade traced the roads adjoining the famous Parade ground, situated in the heart of the city. It hosts many fairs and events throughout the year crossing numerous important city spots and concluded with a celebratory walk.
It included members of the LGBTQ+ Community, supporters and activists attended the event at the Parade Ground, supporting the rainbow colors.
Even after the law struck down, the members of the community struggled to come out and find acceptance.
Mritikka, a student from a University in Delhi has not yet told her parents about being bisexual.
“The LGBT community still faces a lot of discrimination in society. There is a lot of Phobia attached to bisexuals. If a bisexual is in a relationship with a man, she is thought to be straight, and if she is seeing a woman, it is assumed that she is a lesbian.
I haven’t come out to my parents yet, but i believe they know about my sexuality. My friends on the other hand have accepted with open arms.
Mritikka says that nothing has changed much since the judgment. Homosexuality is still a taboo. It may be legal, but people will still advise you against same-sex relationships. In fact, the transgender bill has many issues that the LGBTQ+ community has protested against.
Mritikka’s partner Daman Haldar, is a pilot and a trans man from Kolkata. He says:
Unlike sexuality, you can’t hide being a trans person. People will notice and comment about you. It is extremely traumatic for us. Our community has gone through a lot and history owes us an apology – he adds.
Anjali Gopalan, an LGBTQ+ activist said:
I believe pride parades are important as it gives the LGBTQ community a sense of togetherness. It is a very good initiative.
The law can change overnight, but people’s attitude takes longer than that. If we have to bring about the change then we will have to work on different levels. I believe that we start from school level, we will see some change over a period of time.
Why is September Pride Month:
India’s Supreme Court on 6 September 2018, struck down a colonial-era law that made gay sex punishable by up to 10 years in prison, a landmark victory for gay rights that one judge said would “pave the way for a better future. Since then September has been termed as the “Pride Month” in India.
Organizations Working towards the community:
There are many organizations in many cities of India, such as Humsafar(Mumbai), Alternative Law Forum (Bangalore), Sangama (Karnataka), Chennai Dost and Nazariya are working for LGBT rights.
There are also organizations that function nationwide like Human Rights India and Gaysi. Many of these organizations operate in a very informal way and locally funded.
In Kerala, an organization named Queerla given a new face to LGBT rights. Apart from Nongovernmental organization’s and Community based organization’s LGBTQIA+ student movements which are registered under the government of India is Srishti Madurai a student volunteer LGBTQIA and Gender – Queer movement based at Madurai.
In June 2016, a platform named Amour was launched in India to help LGBTIQ community members find long term companions.
A tradition in Indian pride parades is the wearing of colorful masks for the partial purpose of hiding the wearers’ identities from public view and avoiding altercations with family members. This is expected to change as less reprisals are feared from the general public, as shown with the inaugural Pune Pride Parade in December 2011, which required participants to dress professionally and avoid wearing masks or colorful makeup.
Participants in the parades hail from various indigenous gender and sexual minority groups and infuse the largely-Western-derived aesthetic of pride with local and national cultural trappings. Western and international tourists also participate in pride celebrations in India.