Delhi is known for many things but not usually for a pleasant weather. On a rare November (27th) afternoon when summer has left and winter has not yet set in, Delhi organized its Annual Queer Pride.
Over the years, the theme at Queer Pride March has been repelling section 377, demand for human rights and recognition. This year the trend has shifted from demanding recognition and acceptance to celebrating queerness and erasing gender roles. Section 377, for all who don’t know, is a colonial-era law which criminalizes any other form of sex other than what is necessary for reproduction. The law imposed by puritanical, colonial Britishers remains strong in the 21st century India which since medieval times has been known as nothing but accepting of queerness and embracing it as an important part of life.
Last year, Delhi Queer Pride had stepped outside the LGBTQ community and embraced Dalits, women, Kashmiris and Disabled among other minorities to speak against atrocities meted out. Worldwide, this phenomenon is being noticed when ‘Black Lives Matter’ activists met with Gay rights activists at the US and the Pride March became more inclusive.
This year the Delhi Queer Pride committee, in their official press release, placed the following political demands:
“No discrimination on the basis of age, sex, class, caste, religion, tribe, ability, ethnicity, gender identity, and sexual orientation, effective implementation of the Supreme Court’s NALSA judgment and withdrawing of the current Transgender Rights Bill, strong action against anti-minority violence and the silencing of the freedom of expression and dissent, repeal of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, anti-beggary, anti-Hijra laws, the exception of marital rape from rape law, sedition laws, UAPA and AFSPA.”
Like every other year, Pride stands for celebrating uniqueness in the face of intolerant times, speaking out against unfair treatment solely on the basis of being different. Hundreds of people took to streets, making love & self-expression a political statement.
Men blurred the lines of gender and strutted around in heels, wearing the fiercest shade of lipstick and spotting chunky jewelry.
Women walked around with cheeky placards and danced to dhol beats like No one’s business.
Pride 2016 became a milestone because it broke down various stereotypes which haunt the queer community. The Trans rights were an audible voice and gender roles were challenged while letting go of heteronormativity and a better representation of all sexual, racial and cultural minorities.