Affirming their right, they march with pride

The streets of the city wore rainbow hues all over on Saturday as the eighth Kerala Queer Pride March was taken out by about 500 people from High Court Junction to the Maharaja’s College auditorium where actor Rima Kallingal and director Aashiq Abu opened a public meeting associated with the march.

The march – originally begun in the wake of a 2009 judgment of the Delhi High Court which decriminalised “consensual sex between adults in private” – saw overwhelming participation by lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgenders, intersex people (LGBTI) and their supporters in a bid to cement the honour of sexual and gender minorities as also to sensitise the police, the public, and the media on the need to treat them with empathy.

“The thrust this time around, too, is on the urgent need to abrogate Section 377 of the IPC to make way for peaceful and fearless living of same sex couples and gender minorities,” said Jijo Kuriakose, founder and governing board member of Queerala, a platform for LGBTIQ people to come together and address the issues faced by sexual and gender minorities. Queerala has been organising the Pride March annually, with increasing participation each year.

Mr. Kuriakose said the Pride March was able to bring more visibility to sexual and gender minorities with emphasis on their identity and the politics thereof.

Sreekutty, president of Sexual and Gender Minority, an organisation working for the welfare of transgender people, signalled the need for the government to act on the Transgender Policy so that the day-to-day issues faced by transgenders such as finding accommodation, job-related issues, educational problems, medical issues, and the like could be addressed effectively.

Mr. Kuriakose added that while the lot of LGBITQ people had improved over the years, there were still fissures in the way the system, the police, and other government agencies and the media worked, which he said was to the disadvantage of the sexual and gender minorities.

Larger issue

A larger issue, he said, pertained to the patriarchal hold over institutions that disallowed the rights of this section of people. It required deeper intervention and a change in the social mindset.

Cultural events were held after the public meeting.

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Printable version | Oct 18, 2021 4:33:20 PM |

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