Pride march marks 15 years in Bengaluru

November 27, 2022 10:07 pm | Updated 10:07 pm IST - Bengaluru

Participants of the Ride with Pride event that was held in Bengaluru on Saturday.

Participants of the Ride with Pride event that was held in Bengaluru on Saturday. | Photo Credit: AFP

“Nanna Deha, Nanna Hakku”, (My body, My rights), was the war cry at the Ride with Pride, 2022, held in the city on Sunday. This year, the pride march had the theme of “Pride and Protest”, commemorating 15 years of the event in the city, and 25 years of struggle of the LGBTQ+ community.

This year too, there were roadblocks to the event. “Pandemic or not, rain or shine, pride happens. This year also pride happened,” Priyank Sukhand, one of the organisers said. City police denied permission citing a recent Karnataka High Court order that banned all rallies in the city.

So, the Coalition for Sex Workers and Sexual Minorities’ Rights, one of the organisers, said they converted the march into a Ride with Pride event. Members of the LGBTQ+ community gathered at Freedom Park at 2 p.m. from where they drove in a bus to Samsa Bayalu Rangamandira. “1, 2, 3, 4 Open up the closet door, 5, 6, 7, 8 don’t assume your kids are straight”, the voices echoed in unison at the event. This was a culmination of a month-long celebrations, that included queer potluck and film screenings.

More participants this time

This time, attendance for the event was high compared to the two previous years, even in the number of foreign nationals. Expats from England, Mexico, Russia, and various other countries, presently residing in Bengaluru participated in the event. “This is my first experience of being at the Pride event, something that is not possible back home in Russia. I feel more comfortable here,” said Sasha, an expat from Russia.

Many who were part of the event said though Section 377 was abolished, there was much that needed to be done, including recognition of property rights, for adopting children, inclusivity and advancement in education where children would be taught how to engage with a person from the community and normalize the LGBTQ+ community at large.

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