‘Queer Pride’ parade on Delhi streets SundayJune 23rd, 2008 - 6:11 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi , June 23 (IANS)) The national capital, for the first time, will witness a parade of “Queer Pride” people June 29, who would be marching to celebrate their pride in their sexuality. Similar marches would be held simultaneously in Kolkata and Bangalore as well.
“It will be the first time in Bangalore too. This June 29, the pride march would be in 20 cities across the world,” writer and activist Gautam Bhan told IANS.
“Whole programme was planned only two weeks ago, when friends from Kolkata contacted and discussed about the pride march. Since then we started getting in touch with people in Delhi and response from gays as well as straights has been quite encouraging,” Bhan said.
” ‘Queer Pride’ is a celebration. It is about loving who we are, whether lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, ‘hijra’ or straight, and affirming everyone’s right to be respected for his or her own sexual choices,” Bhan added.
“It is a celebration of how far we have come and how long we still have to go,” Bhan pointed out.
The parade would begin at 5.30 p.m. Sunday from Regal Building at Connaught Place.
“We will gather at the Regal cinema at the Connaught Place Outer Circle, then parade our pride along the Inner Circle, through Central Park, down Janpath and right to Jantar Mantar, where we will have celebration, singing, speeches and a candlelight vigil,” Bhan said.
The activists are inviting everyone to be a part of the parade and are busy appealing people through blogs and e-mails to join in. The activists are also fundraising for the event.
“If anyone wants to be out on the street and yet under cover, they would be provided masks to cover faces or they can bring something along themselves,” Lesley A. Esteves, a journalist, told IANS.
Talking about their right not to be discriminated against, Bhan said: “It is all about human rights. We call India greatest democracy in the world and keep our head high in Southeast Asia. But we are far less progressive than our neighbours such as Nepal and Sri Lanka.”
“We should learn from Nepal, which in its new constitution has cleared that no one would be discriminated against on basis of sexuality.”
“The march would help in instilling a feeling of protection among those who do not want to come out in the open,” he added.