Wearing their pride on their sleeves

The road in front of Town Hall became a large stage, with people flaunting their rainbow colours and supporters of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community. Donning colourful attires and masks, and armed with witty placards, a huge contingent walked the Bengaluru Pride March between Tulasi Park and Town Hall.

While it was a huge celebration of different identities and commemorating the Supreme Court judgment recognising rights of transgenders, they also made their demand for affirmation of dignity loud and clear, by seeking repealing of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The Supreme Court in December 2013 upheld Section 377 of the IPC, meaning that “unnatural sex” or homosexuality between two consenting adults would continue to be an offence.

Human rights activist Ramdass Rao said that celebrations around the pride events have evolved with the large participation from the public. “I have participated in the pride march for several years now. Earlier, only activists used to participate in these events. But now the character of queer events is changing with higher participation and people being open about it,” he said, and added that there was a need for such events to spread beyond Bengaluru.

Chhavi Singhal, a second year student, National Law School of India University, and one of the participants in the flash mob, said: “The event was about coming in support of the LGBT community, but it also about expressing yourself, your body and your rights.”

Anchal Gehi, a master’s student who attended the first pride event, looked visibly ecstatic. “I got such beautiful vibes at the event. Section 377 of the IPC is such a horrible thing. We have adopted so many things from the West, and hopefully we will learn from them about how the accept people from all genders and communities,” he said.

The pride march was the culmination of the Karnataka Queer Habba that began on November 8 and had various events such as poetry reading, Transgender Day of Remembrance candle light vigil, and garage sale. This is the eighth Bengaluru Pride March event.

Demands of the LGBT community

Repeal 377 of the Indian Penal Code

Repeal 36 A of the Karnataka Police Act

Speedy implementation of Supreme Court judgment on transgender rights

End discrimination against sexuality minorities

Organise State and national level consultations and pass the Rights of Transgender Persons Bill

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Printable version | Sep 18, 2021 8:41:10 AM |

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