Kolkata was blessed with a rainbow on a hot, sultry Sunday afternoon when around 1,500 people from the LGBT community, along with “straight” ones interested in questioning narrow sexuality norms, participated in the Kolkata Rainbow Pride Walk 2012, from Hazra More to the Academy of Fine Arts, to spread the message of social inclusiveness.
The parade also comprised a road show wherein celebrities such as Moon Moon Sen and June travelled the whole distance to support the cause. “I can’t see many parents here. Next time, come clean with your parents and bring them to the parade,” said Moon Moon.
People, dressed in a gamut of colours and wacky costumes, carried slogans such as “I fall I love with people, not body parts”, “It’s legal to love” and “Closets are for clothes”. American Center director Jeffrey Reneau, who was at the forefront of the march, said, “We are spreading the message of secretary of State
Hillary Clinton that gay rights are human rights and human rights are gay rights.” Pawan Dhall, a key organizer said, “We hope we will get a favourable verdict on Section 377 from the Supreme Court.” Swagat, who came from Gujarat, said, “My team, comprising doctors, designers and entrepreneurs from the LGBT community, try to attend many pride walks to show our solidarity with the cause. We hope it will start in Gujarat some day too.” When asked if he had a partner, he joked, “I hope to find someone here.”
The walk is organized annually to commemorate the landmark Stonewall Riots in New York in 1969. The Kolkata Rainbow Pride Walk is incidentally South Asia’s oldest Rainbow Pride Walk, which started in 1999.”