The city of Bangalore was witness to its 8th Pride Parade on a cloudy Sunday amidst November rains, and it was beautiful. As a part of the month-long festivities of the Bangalore Pride Parade and Karnataka Queer Habba organised by the CSMR (Coalition for Sexuality Minorities Rights), Bangaloreans showed their support for the city’s LGBTQ community and came out in hordes, braving the rains, and participated in the walk that started from Tulasi Park up till Town Hall. This Bangalore Pride Parade was the culmination of a month long events and spreading awareness of issues particular to the community.
This year’s mandate was the repealing of the Section 377, which criminalizes homosexuality. There was a substantial participation from the transgender community as well, as repealing of the Karnataka Police Act 36 (A) was also on the year’s mandate agenda. This particular act targets the transgender community, and relegates hijras or eunuchs to the level of second-class citizens, and as such increases their chances of facing police brutality.
The pride saw a relevant member of the LGBTQ community of Bangalore – Akkai Padmashali, who is the founder of Ondede, an organisation that aims to create awareness about sexuality, sexual diversity and the right to choose one’s sexual orientation.
As usual Bangalore police played a vital role in maintaining peace and order and ensuring that the parade happened without any hiccups. The rain gods also eased up towards the second half of the parade, rendering all those rainbow coloured umbrellas useless. The streets reverberated with the cries of “1-2-3-4 open up the closet door, 5-6-7-8 don’t assume your child is straight”. With coloured scarves, painted faces, and proud paraders dressed in all their finery and sporting catchy anti-homophobic banners, it was a “gay” time.
Other than the repealing of the Section 377 and Karnataka Police Act 36 (A), the other demands of this year’s Pride celebrations are –
- Speedy implementation of Supreme Court judgement on transgender rights
- End discrimination against sexual minorities at home, in the workplace, on the street and in society.
- Organize state and national level consultations on, and conduct speedy passage of the Rights of Transgender Person Bill.
All Image Courtesy: Filip Jedraszak