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United colours of queer freedom

The LGBT community joined hands and marched right in the heart of the capital to claim their rights, and paint the town satrangi.

Avatar of Alessia Valenza

28th November 2011 13:30

Alessia Valenza | ILGA Asia

They say chasing rainbows is nothing but waste of time, but Delhi’s queer community begs to differ. On Sunday afternoon, the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community joined hands and marched right in the heart of the capital to claim their rights, and paint the town satrangi. The fourth edition of Delhi queer pride saw people from all walks of life getting together to support the demand for equality for queers in India.

Even after the Delhi high court ruling decriminalising homosexuality, the LGBTs are still mocked and treated differently by the society.

Tina, a 23-year-old media professional who came to participate in the parade, says, “I am a cross-dresser and today I specially took leave from office to be a part of this parade. It is a very important event for my community because this is one platform where we can express ourselves openly.”

At the pride march, one could see people carrying rainbow-coloured flags, balloons, scarves, masks and placards with interesting slogans like – Pride not prejudice, Dil deewana hai-bisexuals ka zamana hai, Make love, not babies, etc. Mohnish Malhotra, gay rights activist and one of the organisers from the Delhi Queer Pride Committee, says, “There is a good turnout today, and we want more people to join us in this cause. We gathered at Barakhamba Road and we will be marching till Jantar Mantar. This colourful procession with dhols and drums is our plea to the Supreme Court to decriminalise and legalise homosexuality in India.”

Leena, Kajal, Madrasan and Shamila, a group of transgenders from Saraswati Education Society, came all the way from Dabri to walk for their pride. Leena, who is one of the educators at the NGO, says, “We come here every year to participate at this event. It is important for people to know that homosexuality is not a disease and if someone has different sexual orientations then they shouldn’t be discriminated against by the society. We are a team of 600 members who work with MSMs (men who sex with men), and we teach them about HIV and provide them with sex education.”

Sambhav, a student at Alliance Francaise, came with his entire family and group of friends to declare that he isn’t ashamed of being a homosexual. Sambhav’s grandmother who was carrying an interesting placard ‘I’m a dadi, not a rudiwadi (conservative)’ supported her grandchild through out the parade.

Talking about Sambhav, his grandmother says, “I am 67 years old and I have come down specially to support this cause. I don’t understand why our society is still so rigid and prejudiced against queers. I want to ask the lawmakers what’s wrong in being homosexual. If a person wants to be queer, that’s his or her right and they deserve equal treatment just like any of us.”