Pride parade urges scrapping of transgender protection Bill

Participants of the queer pride parade marched from Tolstoy Marg to Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Sunday.

Participants of the queer pride parade marched from Tolstoy Marg to Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Sunday.   | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma

‘The parade is assertion of one’s own sexual, gender identity’

The queer pride parade from Tolstoy Marg to Jantar Mantar on Sunday was not only a celebration of sexuality drenched in colour, but also an appeal to put a stop to the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill introduced in the Rajya Sabha.

Bearing wide smiles, participants were busy taking pictures, dancing, singing, sloganeering and shouting out encouragements to each other as the crowd slowly moved towards Jantar Mantar.. “When we go for a protest you are empathising with someone’s pain but this was a celebration of someone’s movement,” said Nihal Ahmed who was attending the parade for the first time.

With the striking down of Article 377, several attendees said that while a lot of people had achieved the courage to be more open about their sexuality, societal acceptance had a long way to go. “This parade is an assertion of my own sexual and gender identity,” said Vee, a social worker, who was holding up handbills against the passing of the transgender Bill.

The legislation, which contains provision for setting up district-level committees that will give a certificate to transgender people based on inspections by doctors, goes against the right to self determination already established under the NALSA judgment, Vee argued.

Life on hold

“There are some major decisions I have to make that are on hold because of this Bill,” said 21-year-old model Shanaya Tamang. “If it [Bill] is passed, I will not be considered a woman. And I cannot undertake that surgery because I do not have the money right now,” she said.

Highlighting its possible effect on the hijra community, Girish Kumar argued that the community had its own set of practices, where when young transgender people were abandoned by their families would have a place to go. The Bill would destroy that culture, he said.

Filled with bright coloured balloons, rainbow flags, and people holding up posters condemning homophobia, the parade culminated with activists speaking to the crowd about the Bill along with poetry and other performances.

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Printable version | Feb 28, 2020 9:06:21 AM |

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