Nationwide Queer Pride March: An Historical event

Last week I wrote a piece on how its time for the queer people to stand up, stand tall and assert their rights. In this context the queer activism in India just witnessed a landmark event, the first ever nation wide Queer Pride March was concluded on Sunday, 29th June 2008.

Thousands of gay, lesbians, bi-sexuals, transexuals and other non-heterosexual people in Delhi Bangalore and Kolkata came out on the streets to join the march which was “not a protest but a celebration”, as Leselie Esteves, member of the newly formed Delhi Queer Pride committee puts it.

This was the first of any such pride march in Delhi and Bangalore but for Kolkata this was the 4th gay pride march. The gay pride marchis annually held around this time of the year across the world to commemorate the riots that broke out in 1969 in New York city when a Gay bar was raided by police.

Men wore sparkling saris, women wore rainbow boas and hundreds of people chanted for gay rights in three Indian cities Sunday in the largest display of gay pride in the deeply conservative country where homosexual acts are illegal.

Gay rights supporters took to the streets of Calcutta, Bangalore and New Delhi to call for an end to discrimination and push for acceptance in a society where intolerance is widespread.

“This is a national coming-out party,” Alok Gupta, a lawyer from Mumbai, said as he stood among several hundred activists in New Delhi. “This is a simple thing: We are seeking the right to love.”

Source: Herald Tribune (Emphasis added)

Thaindian News also reports,

Banners with slogans such as “Drop 377″ (referring to section 377 of the Indian Penal Code that considers homosexuality a crime), “Heterosexuality is not normal, it’s common”, “Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Isai, Hetero-Homo Bhai Bhai” and the likes floated above the hundreds of heads on the roads of Connaught Place, the business district and shopping arcade in the heart of the capital.

(Emphasis added)

To look at the political angle of the issue and to think of the fate of the petition pending before Delhi High Court seeking unconstitutionality of Section 377 of Indian Penal Code, it is interesting to note that, Mr. Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, a senior leader of India’s main Hindu nationalist party, the Bharatiya Janata Party, said he opposed the gay activists’ march and called homosexuality “unnatural.”

And then I hear the Hindu terrorists extremeist blaming Islam for the plight of homosexuals.

7 thoughts on “Nationwide Queer Pride March: An Historical event

  1. i think the courts will outlaw the old british era law, 377 of the CrPC i believe, pretty soon. india is much more receptive to gay folks than it initially appears. i have few gay friends and relations and they are wonderful. they’re in the closet however.

    personally i think these “queeny” type of marches paint a wrong picture in the public mind about alternate sexualities. i mean, not every homosexual doesn’t want to change sex.

    besides the point but isn’t appending “queer” or “gay” a very politically incorrect thing to say? like saying “black people”?
    oh, and besides gays, lesbians and trannies, how many other kinds of “non-heterosexual” forms of sexuality are there? Bestiality? :D

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  2. i think the courts will outlaw the old british era law, 377 of the CrPC i believe, pretty soon. india is much more receptive to gay folks than it initially appears. i have few gay friends and relations and they are wonderful. they’re in the closet however.

    personally i think these “queeny” type of marches paint a wrong picture in the public mind about alternate sexualities. i mean, not every homosexual wants to change sex.

    besides the point but isn’t appending “people” after “gay” a very politically incorrect thing to say? like saying “black people”?
    oh, and besides gays, lesbians and trannies, how many other kinds of “non-heterosexual” forms of sexuality are there? Bestiality? :D

    Like

  3. @Mr. Banerjee

    [I find it amusing that you affix a ‘Mr’ while addressing yourself]

    Queer is the word used by LGBT and other non-heterosexual activists to describe themselves. It’s a reclaimed word. A reclaimed word is a word that was formerly used solely as a slur but that has been semantically overturned by members of the maligned group, who use it as a term of defiant pride. Queer is an example of a word undergoing this process.

    More on this here http://www.thefreedictionary.com/queer

    I use the word as an umbrella word to cover all non-heterosexual people. However there is no one right term to cover all of alternate sexuality. Even ‘alternate’ isn’t the right word.

    Sexuality is like art, you can’t define how many kinds are there, its about innovation, its about artistic expression, you can never define sexuality and if at all you do, you can’t expect it to remain within a definition. While learning about sexuality and rights the first thing one should learn is to get rid of “labels”.

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