‘We’re Queer And We Own It’: India’s First Pride Parade After Section 377 Verdict

On 25th November 2018, Delhi saw a rainbow on the ground as its LGBTQ community marched with ‘Pride’ on the streets in large numbers.

Image Courtesy: Hindustan Times

This was India’s first ever Queer Pride Parade after Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) was scrapped and it has left us all in good cheer and hope of a better India in the future. Rishi Raj, Fashion Stylist told The Quint, “The only masks this time I saw were the smog, or ‘vog’ masks and not so many masks to cover people’s faces! So that was absolutely brilliant to see and it gives me great, immense joy to see my country progress.”

The age-old colonial era ban on homosexuality was taken down by the Supreme Court on September 6, 2018 after years of fighting the battle by the LGBTQ community and those in favour of their basic human rights. It was indeed a day of ‘Pride’ for the nation! Thousands of people walked from Barakhamba Road to Tolstoy Marg on a warm Winter afternoon, on Sunday at the 11th edition of Delhi Queer Pride Parade. With no more hiding or masking of identities, this parade saw happy faces rejoicing to the beats of new freedom dressed in vibrant costumes, holding flags, balloons, posters and placards expressing their heartfelt gratitude. They even danced and sang along the way.

Image Courtesy: The Quint

“I can hold my partner’s hand without feeling weird about it,” Rythma (first name only), a participant in the parade told Hindustan Times, as she marched, chanting “Azadi (freedom)” and “Hum Honge Kamyaab (we shall overcome).”

“I am still not comfortable with the idea of revealing my identity to my family. As you can see, I am wearing a mask this time. But I want to feel proud and come to the parade next year without a mask,” Akshay (name changed) told The Quint.

Image Courtesy: The Quint

Although Delhi’s LGBTQ community has been organising Pride Parade every year since 2008 on the last Sunday of November, this year manifested a different radiance than its previous years and the pictures are proof to it all!

A fundraiser party and a picnic was followed by the parade as well.

By Madlin D’silva

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