Second edition of Delhi gay parade
29 May 2009, 0000 hrs IST, AYANDRALI DUTTA , TNN
Delhi’s going to be happy, gay and proud of it again this year – the city’s second Queer pride March is all set to be held on June 28 this year.
The Delhi gay parade, after being a hit in its first edition last year, is going to be bigger and better in its second year
June 28 is the date of gay pride parades and marches all over the world because it is the date of the Stonewall riots in the USA back in 1969, when there was a spontaneous riot against persecution of homosexuals at the Stonewall Inn in New York City. The march this year will start around 5.30 pm at the intersection of Barakhamba Road and Tolstoy Marg in CP, and will continue along Tolstoy Marg, ending at Jantar Mantar. Monish, a Queer Pride Committee member, says that they were expecting about 300-400 people last time, but at 1200, the turnout exceeded their expectations. “This time too, we’re expecting a huge turnout – around three times that of last year,” he says. He adds that, like last year, they’ll have a Pride party where fundraising will be done through individual financial contributions and volunteer support. The Delhi march coincides with that in Bangalore. Gay rights activist Leslie Esteves, who organised the march last year, says, “Last time, because it all came through at the last minute, we didn’t have enough time to spread the word. But this time, we are prepared. And so, there’ll be people not only from Delhi, but also from other states in the North.” Ponni, a queer feminist activist, says, “This year, the march has a little more significance for us as the most of the arguments for the legal case over Article 377 have ended and we’re waiting for the judgment to come, soon after the march takes place.” Celina Jaitly, who has an itimes blog supporting gay rights, is thrilled about the march “Last year, the Mumbai parade saw a huge turnout and it feels good to see that people have started to come out of the closet. It feels good to see them walk with pride. That’s why it’s called the Pride March. I think the fact that these marches are taking place without too much objection or obstruction in India is an indication of a great social change – especially in a country where homosexuality is still a crime by law. In the past one year, at least the abuse that gays suffer has come down. It takes courage even for those who’re to come up and say, ‘We’re with you all’”