India has been gearing up for its biggest ever queer celebrations over the past few years. This year, Queer Prides will be held in five metros of the country and the expected number of participants will reach numbers as never seen before. Following an incident at a bar in NY in 1969 where some gay men were beaten up and gays and gay friendly people held protests, the 28th of June and the week leading up to it is celebrated the world over as the Pink Week.
The Karnataka Queer Hubba starts from the 21st of the month with each day of the week being dedicated to seminars, film screenings and more. This celebration of queerdom will heighten with the Bangalore Pride 09 on the 28th of June. As the second pride march to be held in the city, organisers hope participation would reach the proud total of a thousand.
Delhi would also be holding its second pride march on the 28th. The Delhi Queer Pride has been organised by LGBT people and friends/family. The organisers hope that even though individuals can opt for anonymity with the use of face masks during the march, that all LGBT individuals would take pride in themselves by opting to not hide anymore.
Chennai Pride 09 would be the first the city is seeing. A landmark event for the community and those living in the city, the march would be held on the 28th although celebrations have been going on since the 5th of this month.
Queer Azadi March 09 would be held in Bombay on the 16th of August. This may appear to be a deviation from the June date that the rest of the cities (and most countries of the world) have opted for but was done with the intention of sending out a message to the rest of India. The choice of date implies the freedom the country enjoys whilst it’s queer folk live under the suppression of the archaic law penalising homosexuality. Bombay has always been the center of queer activity, standing as a source of encouragement for the other cities.
Calcutta, which had been the first city in India to have held a pride march, would be holding one this year as well, most probably on the 28th of June. Bhubaneshwar joins Chennai this year with its first pride march. The best thing about these prides is that you don’t have to fall under the umbrella of the rainbow community to be a part of it. The pride events are open to friends, family and anyone else who believe in equality and liberty. Hopefully, these pride marches will awaken acceptance in more people, spreading the colours of the rainbow without the hint of any rain. Go pink!