Delhi Asserts Its Queer Pride Again

Delhi Asserts Its Queer Pride Again

Newsletter May - Aug 2009

Last year’s Delhi Queer Pride, the first ever in the city, had a spontaneity that was its charm. But this year was a different story all together. The Delhi Queer Pride elist was buzzing with activity and every meeting had more new faces than we’d ever seen before. Though most people voluntarily took up a lot of the coordination themselves, putting all of it together was a whole different exercise!

Finally the morning of June 28 was a rush of gushy emails wishing luck, and rejoicing all the positive articles that had swarmed the papers that morning, to wishing each other a Happy Pride Day.

About an hour before the Pride began, people had started distributing pamphlets, masks, placards, whistles and painting each other’s faces. The dhols, the band and the whistles, multicoloured balloons and people, all set the tone of pride march – queer, celebratory and loving it! The rainbow flag was opened to much cheer and sloganeering. The initial half an hour of the march was a bit of a battle as the media thronged in and made marching forward quite an effort. But with time, they too slipped into the fringes with others – some supporters, some questioning, some not wanting to be seen, and some just plain curious!

But the true colours of the Pride was of the people – Hijra, Kothi, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender people, activists, parents, siblings, friends, and even pets! Despite the incredible heat and humidity, the numbers had doubled since last year’s Pride. Well into the march we were still greeting each other!

The march ended at Jantar Mantar where a stage had been set up. Candles were lit remembering friends, activists and loved ones who were not alive to see this day and also for ones who could not join us. An array of people spoke, expressing solidarity and support. Kinnar groups, individual activists, women’s groups, dalit groups… all were ‘out there’ with slogans, poems, songs, solidarity and some beautiful moments of personal sharing.

At the end of the day we felt super charged and proud of ourselves of having done this years’ pride again with individual financial contributions and volunteer support only.

Delhi marched its 2nd year with 4 other cities – Kolkata, Bengaluru, Chennai and Bhuwaneshwar. Mumbai will have its Queer Azaadi march on August 16, 2009. festivities while Bhuwaneswar marched on June 27 for the first time ever. Mumbai will have its Queer Azaadi march on August 16, 2009.