Biggest Gay Pride March in India’s History, June 2008

BBC clip:

Its insane when you actually stop and think about how fucked up India still is about homosexuality- you’d think everyone could get over this prudish Victorian wet dream and enjoy the fact of the extreme range of diversity that has been and continues to be an integral part of its history- but nope- if you’re gay, not only do you have to contend with either staying in the closet indefinitely (faking a hetero marriage) or the fact that the basic day to day parts of life can involve people treating you like shit if you’re open about your sexuality (building societies refusing to rent you a place/ families bullying you/trouble with careers etc) but you also have to worry about the fact that the actual act of having sex with the people you desire could result in your being thrown in jail- especially if you come from lower economy communities- and on top of that- having a higher risk of getting AIDS because there are so few healthy scenes where people of these communities can actually practice safe sex- for you heteros out there- imagine a world where every time you felt like bonking- you had to ask yourself whether it was worth getting thrown into jail for it- or dieing of AIDS.

It irritates the hell out of me when I think about how many people I know have led such fucked up lives because of this Nazi bullshit.

For a city of 14 million people, a gathering of a couple of hundred may seem minuscule. But for Delhi’s gay community, the turnout at their first-ever Queer Pride this Sunday was beyond belief. Over 500 marchers carrying rainbow-colored flags and “Queer Dilliwalla” banners marched to bhangra beats, breaking into Bollywood-style pelvic thrusts and bust-heaving from time to time. Starting from Barakhamba Road in the heart of the city’s business district — at which point the media seemed to outnumber the marchers — they walked 2 km to Jantar Mantar, an 18th century astronomical observatory that has become the unlikely hub of sundry protests in India’s capital. Along the way, they were joined by NGO workers and advocates of all causes, droves of tourists and resident expatriates, and a handful of curious onlookers, all shouting “British Law Quit India!” They were evoking the famous slogan from India’s freedom struggle, but referring here to Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which was introduced by the British to criminalize sexual acts “against the order of nature.” Perhaps even more unexpectedly, few marchers wore masks — which the organizers had provided for those who haven’t come out — and there were no protests from religious or socially conservative groups. “This is amazing,” said Ranjit Monga, a public relations executive, “No one would’ve believed 10 years ago a gay parade was possible in Delhi.”

for the full story go to Time

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