A queer carnival in Delhi

November 27th, 2011 - 9:12 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Nov 27 (IANS) Donning rainbow-coloured scarves and attire and gyrating to drumbeats, hundreds of people from the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community created a
a carnival-like atmosphere Sunday at central Delhi’s business and shopping hub of Connaught Place as they marched in the fourth edition of the Delhi Queer Pride Parade.

The parade that commenced from Barakambha Road and culminated at Jantar Mantar caused a major stir as passersby and traffic came to a halt trying to catch a glimpse of the colourful participants.

A giant rainbow-coloured flag was the centre of attraction as many danced around and under it while posing merrily for the shutterbugs.

Like each year, free masks, rainbow coloured scarves, flags, badges, whistles, candies etc. were distributed. The masks were particularly for closet gays — those who have not disclosed their sexual orientation or gender.

For 25-year-old Anshuman Singh, the masks were a must till last years’ parade as he was a closet gay. But after revealing his sexual preference to his family earlier this year, he has “broken the shackles”.

“I am proud of who I am and I don’t fear anyone now. I am confident and have broken the shackles of the society,” Singh told IANS.

Agreed Rene Khan, an 18-year-old lesbian who said that the society need to change its perception towards the LGBT community.

“We have this one day in the year when we walk the roads wearing our sexual orientation on our sleeves. Why can’t we do this everyday?

Why can’t people leave us alone?” said an emotional Khan.

Meanwhile, as per the organisers, the rally was not all about amusement and wanted to address some serious issues.

“Queers in India face violence, discrimination, forced marriages, blackmailing and do not enjoy health services. We need the government to take some serious actions,” Mohnish Malhotra of “Queer Delhi” told IANS.

The participants will have more reason to celebrate as a rock concert was held in the evening at the newly-opened Leela Hotel. It was organised by Engendered — a New York based NGO working on gender and sexuality issues.

On July 2 2009, the Delhi High Court struck down provisions of Section 377 of Indian Penal Code which criminalised gay sex, saying that it violated the fundamental right of life and liberty and the right to equality as guaranteed in the constitution.

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